CREW Mentor/Protege Panel Discussion Recap

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Held at Cresa’s offices in the Prominence building, the panelists for the first CREW Mentor/Protege event for 2019 settled into their seats.  Spear-headed by Vanessa Manners of Kimley-Horn, in conjunction with Mentorship Committee Chairs Sibet Freides of Idea-Associates and Cathleen Young of CBRE, the panelists were successful women under forty years of age within the commercial real estate industry – Claire Ross, Senior Associate at JLL, Dana McClure Principal of Warner Summers, Heather Lamb, First Vice President at CBRE, and Heidi Swygert, Development Associate at KDC Real Estate Development & Investments.

The questions posed by the moderator and audience centered on what had made them successful, if they had any challenges that stood in their way, and how they overcame those challenges. Each of the panelists had her own unique story, but a few themes emerged from the evening which are summarized below.

  1. Turn “burn scenarios” into “learn scenarios.” We’ve all had our moments where someone has said something that seriously stings us to our core. It burns, but use that experience to your advantage and learn something from it. Whether that’s taking a step back and doing some self-evaluation or if it reveals something about the other person’s character; use the burn scenario to gain lessons learned. One of the panelists commented that she has used negative comments as fuel for her competitive spirit to prove nay-sayers wrong.
  2. Make time for yourself. A theme that each panelist came back to was that she needed time that she considered completely hers and on her terms. For Heather Lamb, it’s snuggle time with her two kiddos. For Claire Ross, it’s a long run during the week. Heidi Swygert commented that her personal happy place is bench pressing during a CrossFit work-out. Dana McClure said that she prefers dedicated time for yoga and meditation to rejuvenate herself. Each person recognized that she needed this time to function and perform at her absolute best.
  3. Pause before reaction. Going hand in hand with the “burn scenario” is “pause before reaction”.Often times, someone in our work life will do or say something that makes us want to yell and scream. The best remedy in these scenarios is simply to pause. The temptation to give in may be high, but there is value in remaining level-headed. Former first lady Michelle Obama summarizes this premise best, “When they go low, we go high”.
  4. Strategize for the future. Make time-restricted, actionable goals to get to where you want to be – it will pay off in the end. There are a number of tools available online.

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Author: Kelly Darby

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