Denise Akason is the instructor of the Real Estate Lab-Practicum. She previously created and taught a Sustainable Real Estate Development course, and she was a guest lecturer at the University of Florence, Italy on Sustainable Real Estate Development. Denise also co-instructed the Real Estate Technology course. She has also supervised independent studies related to real estate, and has produced real estate case studies for the Kellogg and HBS case collections. Denise managed the Kellogg Real Estate Center for 11 years.
Prior to Kellogg, Denise worked in the real estate industry for over 20 years. She began her career as a commercial office broker. She was then a commercial real estate lending officer for Mitsubishi Trust. After receiving her master’s degree, she spent eight years in real estate and litigation consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen. Denise’s experience has given her the opportunity to deal with a wide variety of property types and financial and market conditions. She also spent several years in residential brokerage and development in the Chicago area.
Denise is a member of the Urban Land Institute, and has served on the Boards of several non-profits. She is a licensed real estate broker.
Denise received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of Michigan, and her MBA from Kellogg.
Real Estate Lab (offered in winter quarter) is an experiential learning course that allows Kellogg students the opportunity to participate in a quarter-long project, working in a research and advisory role for a sponsor firm. Participants will be exposed to a project related to an investment, development, public policy, or another real estate question. Enrollment in the course is by application only. Participants will be exposed to the day-to-day working life of the firm, spending approximately 2 days per week working in the sponsor office or remotely. Grades are determined based on work product, communication with the instructor, and sponsor feedback. There is no final exam. This course is similar to the PE Lab, but the sponsor companies are in the real estate industry. The sponsor companies for winter 2024 include:
ATTENTION: BY SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION TO THE REAL ESTATE LAB, YOU COMMIT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE, AND TO WORK WITH ANY OF THE SPONSOR COMPANIES YOU PRIORITIZE. READ THE PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS CAREFULLY AND ONLY PRIORITZE SPONSOR COMPANIES YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK WITH. DROPPING OUT ANY TIME AFTER SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION ERODES THE INTEGRITY OF THE COURSE, THE REPUTATION OF KELLOGG, AND TAKES OPPORTUNITIES AWAY FROM OTHER STUDENTS, SO THIS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.