Marcus Mahlen

Marcus Mahlen

Commercial Broker Associate, NAI Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls, SD
Business Administration - Marketing, 2015

"Get out and meet everyone you possibly can and connect with them on a more personal level! College is a time to get to know yourself and who you truly are, and I firmly believe the best way to do that is by getting to know others who you will learn from. No matter what your personal or professional pursuits are in life, these friends will help you along and come into play at some point in time."

Q&A with Marcus:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

I am a commercial broker associate at NAI Sioux Falls, a full service commercial real estate company. I love this career and company and plan on being in this position for many years. I started in this position in February 2017 after receiving my South Dakota Real Estate License. In this position, I am constantly meeting new business owners and have on-going discussions with them about one of their biggest expenses – real estate. I am also constantly working with buyers and tenants on acquiring their next space, which is typically an in-depth and extensive process, because it is one of the biggest expenses and inputs on their success. Shortly after I started at NAI Sioux Falls, I began pursuing my Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. This is an in-depth training curriculum that is put on by the CCIM Institute through various mediums around the country. To date, I have taken and passed two of the four core courses in the CCIM curriculum, took the third course in April 2018, with the hope of receiving this designation by the end of 2019. I am also active in countless organizations in Sioux Falls, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals Network.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

Growing up, I had a skewed perception of the modern-day salesman. Although I grew up with my father and grandfather working in the sales industry full-time, I still didn’t fully grasp what they did daily or the services they offered to clients through the science of sales. My senior year, I took a class called Fundamentals of Selling in the business school and it completely opened my mind to the process and science of sales and made me want to go into that sector. It changed my way of thinking about business in general and shaped my career pursuits.

After interning for the local economic development office in Harrisburg, SD following graduation at USD, I decided I wanted to become a salesman and learn how to sell anything to anyone the right way. That led me to taking a sales job with a local company in Sioux Falls, A&B Business Solutions. After just a few short months of internal-oriented work at A&B, I became a full-time salesman covering and managing my own sales territory in northeast South Dakota. This position taught me countless skills that I know apply to commercial brokerage, but at its core, I was influenced to get into this position because of my experience at USD and in that specific class. I will forever be grateful for that because I will now consider myself a salesman in some capacity for the rest of my life.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

I would say that my proudest achievement thus far has been all the individuals I’ve made personal and professional connections with that I’ve been able to help in some small way. While at USD, this was me as a freshman asking for ways that I could be of service in an organization that I had just joined to a group of seniors. Or on the flip side, it would be me taking the time as a senior to help explain to a freshman how his class schedule will work and what courses or organizations might best fit him to succeed later in his college career. In my post-USD career, it is meeting individuals and connecting with them to later receive a task in which I might be able to help them or a friend out with a professional project or business challenge. The connections I’ve made and people I’ve helped will forever be my greatest achievement and although it’s difficult to quantify, I can’t wait to continue to do work on that as a lifelong fulfilling project.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

My experience at USD was incredible and has made me the person that I am today. I came to USD after being very active in many organizations at my high school in a small town in northeastern South Dakota. I probably had an internal inclination that I would get involved in campus organizations while at USD, but had no idea where to start. First, I joined the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). That fraternity introduced me to 60 plus other members instantly and an immediate connection was formed. As a freshman SAE, I was lucky that we had 13 plus seniors in our organization who were each involved in two or more organizations on campus, which gave me instant exposure to these organizations. I rose quickly through the ranks of SAE, becoming our co-alumni relations chairmen as a freshman, a position I held for three years. I then moved on to become our philanthropy chairman as a sophomore. Along with other positions held, I became the president of SAE as a second semester junior, holding a one-year term. This experience was extremely invaluable as it gave me a large amount of practice leading over 75 of my peers through various challenges and triumphs.

Along with SAE, I was also involved in other campus organizations like Dakotathon (Dance Marathon). I was on the Dakotathon executive board both my junior and senior year and it led me to become extremely active in the premier philanthropic organization on campus. Throughout my experience at USD, networking, and getting to know others, making hundreds of friends will be a common theme that will continue throughout my life. The connections I’ve made and experiences I had at USD will forever be the strong foundation that launched me into becoming a young professional.

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