Meagan Knapp

Master’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment ’18

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Pre-Daniels Experience: Before entering the master’s program at Daniels, I spent over six years as a Cosmetologist. While completing my undergraduate degree, I managed an independently-owned salon and was able to apply my undergraduate business experience in the workplace.

Post-Daniels Experience: I am currently completing a business plan to create a full-service Design/Build firm in the Denver area. I would like to focus on re-purposing and revitalizing the existing built environment, as well as creating affordable home-ownership solutions for service industry professionals, teachers, and others in West Denver and in resort communities.

Check out my LinkedIn Profile

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Explore the strength of the alumni network before anything else. If you have a tough decision between which program that you are going to attend, the determining factors should be the alumni reach, the culture, the location and the extracurricular competitions/events that the school is involved in. Daniels does an amazing job of giving students the resources and experiences that they need in order to grow and be successful.

If you could tell your past-self one thing before you started grad school, what would it be?

I would advise myself to quit my non-RECM job and to take out some extra loans the first quarter. I would have begun to explore options more in-depth, much earlier. So much of the A/E/C Industry is about finding a fitting company culture and eliminating jobs that you do not deem fit. The earlier you can begin this process, the more beneficial the coursework becomes.

What are some of your favorite things to do in or around Denver?

My favorite things about living in Denver are the proximity to the mountains, as well as the connection to culture that is embedded within each neighborhood. I enjoy snowboarding, hiking in the mountains and walking around with my five-year old English Bulldog.

What were you looking for in a business school?

I chose Daniels due highly to the fact that ethics is embedded into each course. The second largest factor in my decision was the strength and reach of the University of Denver’s alumni network.

Why did you choose Daniels for your graduate degree?

Inside Daniels lies the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management (RECM). This very unique decision to embed the RECM school within the business school was particularly appealing to me, especially due to construction being the largest portion of the United States GDP.

Is there a particular class at Daniels that really stands out?

My biggest influences while at Daniels were Director Barbara Jackson, professors Eric Holt and Daniel Trujillo, and Adjunct Professor John Knott. Individually, Barb and John helped to mentor me, to guide me in an innovative direction, and to open my eyes to many monstrosities that have been and currently are happening in the A/E/C industry. Professors Holt and Trujillo were the “muscle” that guided me in a direction that allowed me to gain confidence and understanding of the construction management sector.

Tell us about the classroom experience at Daniels.

Many of the classes within the Burns School are made up of equal parts undergraduate and graduate students. Although our groups are kept within our respective education levels, the ability to hear numerous points of view and stories of real-life experience is an amazing thing to experience. The small class sizes make a large impact on the depth of the lessons as well.

How do you manage work-life balance while taking classes?

Managing work-life balance takes an enormous amount of effort and determination. I survived off the Google Cal application, always trusted my hustle, slept 7 hours per night at minimum (no matter what), committed to furthering my education, as well as eating as well as possible. For those nights when I had no other options than to eat badly or make the trip to Whole Foods, the food bar definitely saved me.