When Ryan Blum ('07, real estate) chose to come to SDSU, it wasn't for the university's outstanding business program.
"I began at SDSU as a graphic design major with intentions of being an artist. I actually had a bad attitude toward business in general – it was dull and all about money." Blum recalled. "That changed as I matured and saw my father – a real estate attorney – as more of a role model and I wanted to enjoy the type of success he had."
As Blum gravitated toward a career in business, he became drawn to the real estate industry prompting him to switch majors. He was convinced he had done the right thing when he embarked on an internship with San Diego-based Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services which specializes in managing commercial properties in Southern California.
Blum won the internship after he called the company principal, Tim Meissner, to explain that he was looking for experience and was willing to work for free. Meissner was impressed with Blum's enthusiasm and desire to learn and was willing to pay him $10 an hour during the internship. The internship worked out so well that the company offered him a full-time position as a construction manager upon graduating from SDSU. "I owe my career to that first big opportunity," said Blum.
"I actually had a bad attitude toward business in general – it was dull and all about money. That changed as I matured and saw my father – a real estate attorney – as more of a role model and I wanted to enjoy the type of success he had."
In 2009, Blum began work as an assistant property manager for the San Diego office of Equity Office Properties which owns and manages over 70 million square feet of commercial real estate throughout the U.S. He oversees a staff of 35 who are responsible for the operations, customer service and finances of the buildings at 701 B Street and 707 Broadway, both located in downtown San Diego. "Sometimes my job is like being a mayor of a mini city with all the politics that comes with it," explained Blum who was recently promoted to a property manager position. "I am always working on conflict resolution, which is the most challenging part of the job, but also the most rewarding and the part of the job that I enjoy most."
Blum's willingness to reach out to others landed him a good job in the real estate profession and he counsels others to do the same. "Network, network, network," he advises. "Pick up the phone and call people. There are too many emails these days and a phone call makes a huge difference. Remember, people want to help you if you show genuine desire to learn."
While Blum is in a good position to offer advice for a profession he is passionate about, he also has a passion for music and is a talented singer, guitar player and songwriter. His music ranges from folk to bluegrass and, between playing shows at local clubs, he is currently working on his first album.
"There are too many emails these days and a phone call makes a huge difference. Remember, people want to help you if you show genuine desire to learn."