Progressing towards socially and environmentally responsible real estate development

When it comes to the stereotypical MIT student, images of a Tony Stark or a Riri Williams tinkering in a high-tech lab often come to mind. It’s not usually someone delving into real estate, but Peggy Ghasemlou is breaking that mold.

Originally an architect in Tehran, Iran, Peggy took on the challenge of studying real estate development at MIT. Her journey involved overcoming numerous obstacles, from visa hurdles to travel logistics, all of which demanded a superheroic level of determination.

Now halfway through her master’s program in real estate development at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, Peggy is gearing up to collaborate with lecturer Jacques Gordon on a thesis focused on portfolio management.

Thriving in MIT’s interdisciplinary environment, Peggy appreciates the program’s blend of economics, technology, sustainability, and design. She values the emphasis on financial responsibility combined with social and environmental awareness.

Reflecting on her arduous path to MIT, Peggy expresses gratitude for the transformative experience and the friendships she’s formed along the way.

Empowering Women in Real Estate

Driven by a passion for design since childhood, Peggy pursued degrees in architectural engineering and digital engineering, with a sustainability focus. Her journey intersected with MIT during her master’s studies, where she delved into zero-energy building concepts.

After years of design work in Tehran, Peggy’s interest shifted towards the financial aspects of architecture and real estate, spurring her application to MIT and earning her the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate scholarship.

Championing gender diversity, Peggy founded Girls in Real Estate Development in Tehran, aiming to inspire young women to pursue careers in male-dominated fields.

Transitioning to MIT posed challenges, particularly in finance and economics, but Peggy found unwavering support from her peers and instructors.

Her commitment to sustainable portfolio management underscores her dedication to making a positive impact in the real estate sector.

Enrolling at MIT was just the beginning of Peggy’s globe-spanning journey to realize her academic ambitions.

A Persevering Odyssey

From visa uncertainties to transcontinental travels, Peggy’s quest to reach MIT was fraught with obstacles. Navigating through visa applications and embassy delays in Turkey and Canada, she ultimately triumphed against all odds.

Upon arrival at MIT, Peggy’s resilience and familial support sustained her through the initial challenges of adapting to a new academic and cultural environment.

With eyes set on reshaping housing and real estate practices in the future, Peggy is primed to contribute to sustainable initiatives, supported by her summer internship with a Boston nonprofit.

Looking ahead, Peggy aspires to leverage Boston’s sustainability potential and advocate for policy-driven changes akin to New York City’s pioneering energy efficiency legislation.

Peggy’s commitment extends beyond her academic pursuits to empowering women in the real estate industry, inspired by trailblazers like Suzanne Heidelberger as she envisions a future with more female leaders driving impactful change.

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