This year I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural ULI Chicago Mentorship Program, which culminated last night with a reception at the Four Seasons Hotel followed by the Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. The Mentorship Program reception included the ULI Chicago Leadership team, and was a great opportunity to reflect on the program’s success and contemplate ways in which to improve the program in its second year.
At the reception we enjoyed conversation, cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and heard remarks from two of Chicago’s real estate leaders, Steve Quazzo of Pearlmark Real Estate Partners and John Bucksbaum of Bucksbaum Retail Properties. Steve discussed the opportunities he had to learn from great mentors throughout his career and encouraged us to learn from everyone we have the opportunity to work with. John said that by observing both the good and the not so good qualities of our mentors, we can focus on manifesting the good qualities while avoiding the not so good. John also reminded us that a mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be a senior person – we can learn from people at all levels.
The Mentorship Program provided an excellent opportunity for ULI Young Leaders to develop relationships with senior ULI Members. Protégés and Mentors participated in three leadership speaking events as part of the program, but Protégés and Mentors were encouraged to meet outside of these events as well. I had regular lunch meetings with my mentor, which enabled us to have meaningful discussions about our careers. I was able to talk about the successes and concerns I was experiencing in my career, and gain insights from someone who has ‘been there and done that’. I look forward to continuing my relationship with my mentor beyond the program.
The second year of the ULI Chicago Mentorship Program will kick-off in early 2013, and I encourage all Young Leader members to apply!Authored by Kelly Meissner, Ventas, Inc.