The NAIOP Vancouver Developing Leaders Program is a relatively new program that allows young professionals (under the age of 35) and those with less than 5 years of industry experience to network with their peers as well as meet senior members of the commercial real estate industry. This program provides the opportunities to allow these individuals to jump-start both their careers and their involvement within NAIOP Vancouver.
We recently sat down with the Chair of the Developing Leaders Committee, Chris MacCauley, to get the inside perspective on this exciting program.
How long has the DL program been active?
The Developing Leaders Program is excited to enter its fourth year in operation, currently with over 40 active participants.
What can aspiring developing leaders hope to gain from attending these events?
We have great networking events where you can meet people you will grow with throughout your career. Our mentoring lunches that we run four to five times per year, give DL's an opportunity to sit in a small group setting with an industry leader such as Lenora Gates or Rob McCarthy. We keep these events to 15-20 people and by doing this we found that everyone is more comfortable to engage and ask questions; it really is like a fireside chat.
How did associations such as NAIOP help shape your growth in the CRE industry?
NAIOP really helped me connect to other professionals in the industry. When you are starting out you need to set yourself apart and NAIOP gives you another avenue to get in front of people and start to build relationships. After my first year I sat on the committee for Developing Leaders and this really gave me insight into how my peers have navigated the start of their careers. It provided me a platform where I could ask questions as well as be open to a vast network of information.
Do you have any words of advice for individuals who are new in the industry?
Work hard, and understand that this is a relationship industry and do not focus so much on the transaction. When you start off you do not have much to offer clients, so you will need to gather information and become a resource of quality information. Learn from as many people as you can as you figure out your brand.
What do you know now that you wish you knew five years ago?
You never know where people will end up, just because someone works for so-and-so now, that may change and they could end up at a place where you need to or want to do business.
Anything else our readers should know about the DL program?
It is my hope that in 2012 I will get the members of the DL committee involved in the other committees within NAIOP (Education, Government Relations, Development Issues, Communication, Etc.). This will allow us to take the input and insights from those who are under the age of 35 and new to the industry and incorporate it into all association affairs.
Learn more about this valuable program on the Developing Leaders page, and make sure to check out our Events Page to see upcoming DL events.
Have you attended any Developing Leaders Events? How have associations like NAIOP Vancouver helped shape your professional growth? Share your comments in the section below!