UD Alum Glen Weiss Speaks to Lerner Students on “The New World of Work”

For University of Delaware alum Glen Weiss, Class of ‘91, his path to working in real estate started when he was 16 years old. Weiss, who is currently executive vice president – office leasing and co-head of real estate at Vornado Realty Trust, shared his journey with Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics students with “The New World of Work” on March 11 in the Lerner Atrium.

Weiss is jointly responsible for the daily operation of Vornado’s real estate business and is actively involved in all development, acquisition and disposition activities. He oversees leasing activity in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, including Vornado’s 20 million square foot Manhattan portfolio, the 3.7 million square foot MART in Chicago and the 1.8 million square foot 555 California Street complex in San Francisco.

Weiss has been associated with Vornado and the Mendik Company, which Vornado acquired in 1997, for his entire career. He first joined Mendik in 1986 as a summer porter at 11 Penn Plaza in New York City, and continued as an intern through high school and college. In 1992, Mendik appointed him as an assistant building manager and he went on to become building manager at 1740 Broadway and 11 Penn Plaza. In 1998, following Vornado’s acquisition of Mendik, he transitioned to leasing, and in 2007 he was appointed to lead the group.

While at UD, Weiss was a communications major and was able to hone his public speaking skills. He shared how he paired the knowledge he gained in the classroom to succeed in real estate and what he learned along the way during his talk with UD students.

Weiss later spoke with Lerner about his time at UD and how it helped prepare him for his career.

Choosing the University of Delaware

Weiss chose UD for a variety of reasons: its outstanding academics, the beautiful campus, and its proximity to his hometown. Weiss stated that on his first day as a freshman, he went to a meeting with his resident advisor Randy Garber, sports director of UD’s radio station, who asked if anyone was interested in volunteering to help him on the radio. He jumped at the chance and volunteered on the weekly show Blue Hens Sport Cage, which turned out to be an amazing opportunity for Weiss, a huge sports fan. “This inspired me to become a communications major,” he said.

From the Classroom to Life

The communications classes taught Weiss how to speak, present and handle himself in front of others, command a room, and develop verbal communication skills. Weiss stated that this aided him in working with others and instilled confidence when it came to his internship with Vornado.

Weiss took a public speaking course his junior year where he had to speak in front of the class once a week on a subject. This was a key class for him and was how he got comfortable with public speaking. Weiss still uses these skills today in his job at Vornado when negotiating, presenting and touring properties.

Connections Formed a Foundation

Communications professor Doug McLeod played an important role during Weiss’ time at UD. “He took me under his wing as someone he thought had strong potential to succeed and be helpful to him in the classroom,” Weiss said. McLeod eventually left Delaware and moved to Wisconsin, where he still lives now. Weiss’ daughter currently attends the University of Wisconsin, enabling him and McLeod to be able to recently reconnect in Madison.

Advice for Current Students

“Always listen,” Weiss said. “Work as hard as possible. Don’t take anything for granted, keep grinding everyday, that is how you are most successful. Nothing happens overnight. Be honest, be genuine, and be truthful because good things will happen.”

Advice for Graduates

Weiss noted that the world is changing rapidly and that technology is important in every industry sector, including real estate. “Use technology as best as you can,” he said. “Make sure you always try to do business with the right kind of people – good people, honest people. You will want to do business with people you most connect with and can trust.”

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