Thank you for your interest in advising a participating team in the 2024 ULI Hines Student Competition!
Each team must have at least one faculty advisor and can have as many professional advisors as they’d like. Teams are made up of five graduate students and are required to be multidisciplinary. Typically, they are composed of a few designers (architecture, landscape architecture and urban design) as well as two or three students focused on real estate development, finance, and/or urban planning.
Teams are required to prepare a comprehensive design and financial proposal for a real site. Potential advisors can start by skimming last year’s challenge brief here and last year’s winning proposal here to learn about the kind of work the students need to produce. Team composition often determines the kind of professional advisor(s) each team needs. Teams with more designers and a team member in their first year of a real estate or planning master’s degree might need help with the finances and pro forma. Teams with more real estate students might need an urban designer’s eye or an urban planner’s advice.
Advising primarily takes place in January since the competition entails two intensive weeks in January. ULI releases the full challenge brief to the students on January 8, and the students’ digital proposals are due on January 22. Four teams are selected for the finals, in which case, the advisors for those teams may wish to continue assisting the teams through the finals in early April.
How to Connect with Teams:
ULI does not have the capacity to do one-to-one matching of advisors to teams, but we do try to facilitate spaces for teams and advisors to connect, particularly through our LinkedIn group. We ask both potential advisors and teams to post in the group about their interests.
1. Post in our LinkedIn group (ULI Hines Student Competition) indicating your interest in serving as a mentor, your expertise, and where you are based. By posting in the group, teams will have a means of connecting with you directly if they are looking for mentors. Students tend to register at the last minute, so they may be seeking advisors closer to, or after, the registration deadline of November 17th. Please go ahead and post in the LinkedIn group now, and students will continue to join and see your posts and reach out. Once you connect with a team you can erase your post, to avoid more teams reaching out, or we can help you erase it.
2. Reach out to Real Estate, Architecture, Planning, or Finance programs at your local universities or alma mater. You can check which universities have participated in recent years here: Participating Schools.
3. Connect with your local ULI district council. Several ULI district councils have established mentorship programs for the ULI Hines Student Competition. If you are unsure who to reach out to, you can see a list of ULI District Councils here: ULI District Councils.
The Role of Advisors:
Advisors should serve as a critical eye, a source for identifying resources, and advise on how to complete a process – like working out a development pro forma – but they should not be substantively shaping the proposals.
Advising is a flexible time commitment and can be in-person, on or off campus, or virtual. You will work out the parameters of your engagement with a team by connecting and finding out what kind of help they need and sharing your availability. Some advisors simply offer one virtual or in-person meeting during the two-week period, perhaps halfway through, to see how far along a team is and offer suggestions on their work. Other advisors are “on call,” available to answer questions via email/phone/video during specified hours, when the students have them, or suggest resources that might inform their proposal. While others meet with their team in person or on Zoom every few days to add a critical eye to their work on a regular basis.
If you are unable to connect with a team through any of the methods above, please let us know, and we will do our best to connect you! Email [email protected].