Meg Meliet received a Student Academic Leadership Award.
In February, Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech Parents Association announced the 2020 Student Academic Leadership Award recipients to honor outstanding students who excel both in and out of the classroom. We are highlighting Texas Tech University students who were recognized.
Meg Meliet, a recently graduated finance major in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, wasn't planning on a real estate career when she came to Texas Tech University. In fact, it was possibly the furthest career path from her mind when she arrived in Lubbock.
In high school, Meliet was a varsity swimmer hoping to compete at the collegiate level. An injury during her senior season forced her to change plans, and she decided to major in management and sport management to stay close to the sport in college despite not being able to compete.
She immediately became involved in the Rawls College, and soon a family friend encouraged her to consider finance, specifically real estate, instead of management. Meliet looked into it, and thought it could be a good fit for her. Fast forward a few years and she is the president of the Real Estate Organization (REO), holds leadership roles in several other student organizations and is working part-time with an international commercial real estate development firm with plans to go full-time after graduation.
In her various roles with these organizations and honor societies, Meliet wants to encourage younger students to get involved and grow the finance and real estate disciplines at Texas Tech.
"As I have become a senior member of the organization, I have found myself becoming passionate about helping to recruit and mentor the next generation of REO members and leaders," Meliet said.
Meliet received one of Texas Tech Parents Association's Student Academic Leadership Awards for her efforts.
How are you a leader in the classroom?
I have always been a huge believer in leading by example. In the classroom, you will find me on time, prepared for each day's class and taking meticulous notes. I am often the leader of any group projects. I am not afraid to speak up in class and will go out of my way to help my fellow classmates with the subject material.
How are you a leader outside the classroom?
Originally, the Scovell Business Leadership Program (formerly the Rawls Business Leadership Program) attracted me to Lubbock and Texas Tech. Since arriving on campus, I have been involved in the Rawls College of Business through leadership roles in various student organizations. I have served as treasurer for Alpha Lamba Delta & Phi Eta Sigma (honors societies); vice president of finance and fundraising for Women in Business; and vice president of finance and professional events for Delta Sigma Pi (professional fraternity). Currently, I am most proud of serving as president of REO. My goal in each of these positions has been to leave the organization in a little better position than before my involvement.
Why did you select your major?
Although my current passion is the commercial real estate industry, I did not embark on my college career with this path in mind. When I arrived at Texas Tech in August 2017, I declared a management major with a minor in sports management. My goal was to eventually start my own USA swimming team after coaching for a few years. I had been a competitive swimmer since the age of 5, so swimming has always been a passion of mine. Unfortunately, I suffered a career-ending back injury my senior year of high school and was unable to compete at the collegiate level.
After my first semester at Texas Tech, a family friend encouraged me to pursue a career in real estate. I initially thought nothing of it. However, when I returned to Lubbock for my second semester, little signs kept appearing that triggered me to reach out to an industry professional who (unknowingly and unintentionally) changed the course of my collegiate and professional career. When I told him I was considering real estate development, he told me, "That is a hard path. You will never be able to break into the field." At that moment, I knew I would do anything in my power to prove him wrong. I called my mom from the car after hearing this and told her I was going back to campus and changing my major. Within months, I secured an internship for the following summer with Hines, a real estate investment, development and management firm, in development.
How do you intend to use your education in the future?
After graduation, I head back to Houston to work for Hines on the Healthcare and Senior Living Development Platform. My coursework has and will continue to help me in the professional world. In addition, I believe it is the soft skills I have learned and developed at Texas Tech that will prove to be the most beneficial. I have learned how to lead by observing peers and professors and being in positions to be a leader myself. I plan on implementing all these lessons learned in and outside of the classroom throughout my career. In the coming years, I plan on continuing my education further through a professional MBA program.
How has Texas Tech helped you along the path to those goals?
REO has helped me tremendously throughout my collegiate career. It was a part of my introduction to the world of real estate and has helped build my professional network. I am not only referring to the countless industry professionals who I have met through industry trips to Dallas, Houston and Denver, but also a network of peers. It makes me happy to know that the people I am sitting in classrooms with today are the same people I will be sitting in board rooms with in the future. REO has allowed me to form relationships that will last a lifetime.
I think Texas Tech's real estate program is unmatched by other universities across the state. This is largely due to the work done by Jared Harrell. He has built REO into what it is today. The organization equips Texas Tech students with the knowledge, experience and network they need to succeed in the real estate industry.
This organization has exposed me to multiple facets of the commercial real estate industry and allowed me to converse with different professions, build my network and expand my skill set and knowledge base. These are all skills that have helped me and will continue to help me throughout my professional career.
Who has had the biggest impact on you, and why?
I would be remiss to say only one person has impacted me the most. I have been blessed with such a strong support system that has helped me grow and achieve my goals in all aspects of my life – academically, professionally and personally.
Professor Harrell and Dr. Stephen Buschbom both have played instrumental roles in my academic and professional careers. I have had a handful of classes with each of them. They are the faculty advisers for REO, but most importantly, they each have spent countless hours with me outside the classroom regarding my career.
During my first week as an intern at Hines, I was faced with the decision of what asset class I would like to work on for the summer. This was the week I met my supervisor and mentor, Ryan Pritchard. It was during this week I decided that I also wanted to work on the Healthcare and Senior Living platform, but that I specifically wanted to work with Ryan. If Ryan hadn't decided to put his trust, time and energy into a 19-year-old Texas Tech freshman, I would not even be close to where I am now. I am extremely grateful he has taken me under his wing.
My mother has been my biggest supporter, role model and my best friend. I am an only child and my parents got divorced when I was young. For the longest time, it has just been her and me against the world. I have watched her sacrifice so much for me over the years and have been inspired by her resilience and strength. She has taught me to work hard and always do the right thing. There is no way I could ever repay her for all she has done for me, but I work as hard as I can to make her proud.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Now that I am at the end of my collegiate career, I can look back and say that I was absolutely meant to be here. I love my school and cannot wait to become involved in new ways as an active alumna after graduation. I would like to eventually serve on the Rawls Advisory Council and stay involved with the real estate program in any way I can.