Speaker: Students should always be networking

College students should strive to build their network throughout their college careers, a recent university graduate told students Tuesday night.

Abe Issa, president and CEO of Abe Issa Real Estate, spoke as a part of Neeley Week, a week-long event that included speakers and fundraisers. Different clubs within the Neeley School of Business organized the events.

Issa said networking is important and that he had benefitted from it since graduating in May 2005.

“Build your network,” he said. “That’s one piece of advice I give everybody.”

Issa said he would not have had the job and financial opportunities he had without networking with a professor during college.

Students looking to be financially successful upon graduation must have goals and aspirations, he said.

Another piece of advice he gave was learning good salesmanship.

“Everybody should work on their sales skills whether they’re a salesperson or not,” Issa said. “Everything you do applies to sales in a way.”

This was more difficult for some students than others, he said.

“Even if you’re not a natural salesperson, you can make yourself a salesperson,” he said. “You can practice.”

Issa said he buys, rehabilitates and sells government and bank-foreclosed homes around the Metroplex.

“I got started during my junior summer at TCU,” he said. “I got a referral from Dr. (Joe) Lipscomb.”

Within two months of working for the company, sales had doubled, he said.

“My senior year in college, I sold 72 houses,” Issa said. “I ended up making $250,000 while I was at TCU full time.”

Issa said he was quickly promoted as a result of his success with the company.

He said the company allowed him to set up his own office and staff at another location. Then he found a niche in the real estate market and built a business based on that.

“I started my own company in 2007,” he said. “I was making $60,000 to $80,000 a month running my own operation.”