UNC Charlotte alum paving the way for diverse developers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jane Wu is known for her hard hat and high heels, but she’s had an eye for fashion and real estate since she could remember.

 

What You Need To Know

  • Jane Wu, founder of Panorama Holdings LLC, has donated $50,000 to UNC Charlotte to fund a scholarship for students studying commercial real estate
  • The scholarship is specifically for students from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Each recipient will receive between $2,500 and $5,000

 

Her dad is a real estate developer. Following in his footsteps, she’s now the CEO and founder of the commercial real estate developer Panorama Holdings LLC. 

“This is our rooftop restaurant,” she said while touring the next project at the newly developed AC Hotels Marriott in Ballantyne.

She started her career in finance in 2007, working with a lot of commercial real estate clients in an industry dominated by white men.

“Which is fine. I mean, they have done some incredible jobs,” she said. “But, it’s always good to have some different perspectives.”

Often sitting in business meetings as the only minority or woman and sometimes both — now the leader of a diverse table. She remembers when she had to self-teach certain concepts and speak up a little louder to get recognition from her peers.

“That’s why it’s so important to get into the education earlier,” she said.

Wu believes in this so much that she’s putting her money where her mouth is, donating $50,000 to start an annual scholarship for students at UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. 

It’s for students studying commercial real estate, which is a program that started for undergraduates in 2005 while Wu was pursuing her master’s degree. It’s a missed opportunity she says would’ve benefited so many in commercial real estate.

“Underrepresented students are not aware or not prepared for such industry,” she said.

UNC Charlotte says 35% of its students come from underrepresented backgrounds, and most aren’t fortunate enough to have a father in the business like Wu. She says, however, even one class would’ve made a difference for her.

“If I took this class, it would make me more prepared for the career,” she said.

Students get hands-on experience handling investment funds and make pitches for real investments. The $2,500 – $5,000 scholarship will make it a little easier for individuals to focus on the future.

“At the end of the day, that will help our industry and it will help with our city,” Wu said.

UNC Charlotte says the masters in real estate program has a 100% job placement rate. Wu also has paid internships for students to get hands-on experience in the commercial real estate world. 

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