Alumni Spotlight: Neal Talaske

Neal Talaske portrait
Neal Talaske (MBA/MSR '21) is using the skills he acquired in Tulane's MBA/sustainable real estate development program to help Tesla identify and acquire potential sites for its largest supercharger charging station yet.

Tulane MBA Program Graduate Combines Architecture and Business Expertise to Develop the Future of Electric Vehicles

One of the keys to unlocking a sustainable future for the planet is providing the infrastructure to make owning and operating electric vehicles as easy and intuitive as possible. Tulane University’s MBA Program/Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development is on the frontline of preparing MBA students to innovate and drive ethical growth throughout the real estate sector to foster an equitable, sustainable future.

MBA program alum Neal Talaske (MBA/MSR ’21) is doing just that. Applying the skills in architecture and business he acquired in Tulane’s MBA/sustainable real estate development program, Neal leads his own team of professionals at Tesla, developing Tesla’s largest supercharger station yet. To achieve this, Neal uses his expertise in real estate and land acquisition to identify potential sites for the charging station and negotiate with landowners.

Neal’s professional success is typical of our MBA/Sustainable Real Estate Development alumni, who chose Tulane because they aspire to make lasting and positive impacts on the world around them.

The MBA Program and Neal’s Path to Tesla

Neal graduated with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Arizona State University in 2015. After earning his real estate license, Neal began working as a site acquisition expert for major wireless companies. During this time, he developed foundational skills in architecture and business, including researching sites, requesting building permits and representing clients.

He then worked for Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the nation’s leading advertising companies, to establish representation in the San Diego area. Drawing on his knowledge of architecture and business, he also supported development lead in research and RFP submission of new real estate sites in California. While Neal enjoyed what he was doing, we wanted to advance his career and build something bigger and more sustainable, but he felt constrained by his undergraduate degree.

Neal started researching graduate programs and found Tulane’s MBA program/Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development joint degree program. As the nation’s only two-year program that offers professional development in both sustainable real estate and business, Tulane’s MBA program was the ideal place for Neal to gain the advanced knowledge of architecture and business he needed to take his career to the next level. Neal was also drawn to the exciting city of New Orleans and all the experiences it offered him.

While in the MBA/architectural program at Tulane, Neal developed vital skills through team-based collaboration with other MBA students, which prepared him to lead his own team and inspire those around him. He also participated in the ULI Hines Student Competition, one of the many real estate competitions in which MBA students can compete and win prizes.

Among the highlights of Neal’s time in Tulane’s sustainable real estate development program were his MBA program faculty mentors. As Neal progressed through the MBA/architectural program, he felt challenged in positive ways by his mentors, who pushed him to expand the way he thought and step out of his comfort zone. Thanks to the small class sizes in the MBA program, he was able to meet face-to-face with faculty and receive personalized academic attention.

The combination of hands-on learning and dedicated instruction from expert faculty prepared Neal to take on more responsibility and step outside of the box in his position at Tesla.

Applying Skills from the MBA Program to Tesla

One of the most important companies working in the sustainability space, Tesla is at the vanguard of the electric revolution. While he was in the MBA program, Neal received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter at Tesla. Neal’s expertise and the professional network he built in the MBA/architectural program led the recruiter to take notice of him.

One of Neal’s most memorable experiences in the MBA/Sustainable Real Estate Development program — and the experience that most prepared him for his role at Tesla — was his internship. Tulane’s MBA program puts students in real-world situations with actual businesses so that they can gain experience working both autonomously and as part of a team.

Working at a company with expectations as high as Tesla’s requires an expert level of knowledge in architecture and business. Fortunately, Neal built a solid foundation in the MBA/Sustainable Real Estate Development program and developed the foresight to identify potential problems before they happen.

While working on this unprecedented project for Tesla, Neal has applied many of the unique skills he learned from professors who taught him to stretch his imagination and find novel solutions for complex problems. He currently serves as leader of the new supercharger deployment project, a role that enables Neal to pull from his experiences as a team member and leader during projects in the MBA/architectural program.

Build the Skills to Succeed as a Business Leader in Tulane’s MBA Program

From international corporations to local community projects, the MBA programs at Tulane can prepare you to excel as a thought-leader and agent of change. Thanks to heightened awareness of the impact of climate change, businesses around the world are looking for professionals skilled in architecture and business to revolutionize their infrastructures and future-proof their production processes.

The MBA program with a focus on sustainable real estate development combines essential theoretical training with experiential learning to provide MBA students with two exceptional graduate degrees that can help them stand out from others as they enter the job market and prepare for a career in architecture and business.

In the MBA/architectural program, Tulane emphasizes project-based courses that immerse students in the industry through actual real estate development projects. Students learn to work both as team members and inspiring leaders. Like Neal, students can also participate in case-based real estate competitions against peers from other top universities.

In addition to the sustainable real estate development MBA program, Tulane offers several other MBA programs that let students tailor coursework to their interests and career goals:

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