After an uncertain college path, Tristan Holtman found his joy by combining interests in business and real estate.
The 2014 Eau Claire Memorial High School graduate decided to attend Chippewa Valley Technical College for his general courses, and then he would transfer to a university.
But just before he graduated from CVTC, he had a change of heart. He entered the Business Management program at CVTC and sought an internship in a field that interested him.
Today, the 27-year-old real estate agent looks back on his path fondly as he helps buyers, sellers and investors find the perfect real estate in the Chippewa Valley.
When Holtman entered the Business Management program, an instructor told him to find an internship in something that held his interest.
He went to a few real estate companies in Eau Claire but quickly realized that realtors are independent contractors, and they would have to pay him out of their own pockets for the internship. That’s when he reached out to Chippewa Valley Real Estate (CVRE), which worked in real estate and property management.
“They’d never had an intern, but they were on board,” Holtman said. “I was able to learn both sides of the business. I was grateful they were able to figure something out.”
He worked as an intern with CVRE for six months, graduated from the Business Management program, obtained his real estate license and became a realtor with the company in 2019.
“I always knew I was interested in business, and I was interested in real estate and construction in some aspect,” he said. “But until the internship, I didn’t know if it was realistic.”
Since then, he’s sold more than $17 million worth of real estate in the Chippewa Valley. He credits his career path to CVTC and his willingness to change his educational path.
“I always say I’m so glad I stuck it out at CVTC and didn’t let outside noise get to me,” Holtman said of the pressure to attend a four-year school. “I had a job all throughout college. I paid for school on my own and didn’t have to get drenched in student loans. I was able to transition to the workforce slowly.
“It was just the perfect balance of school and life and working, and I feel like I got a great education at CVTC.”