In a highly interactive exclamation point to Real Estate 101’s 2015 event series, Studio Theater was host to “Career Trajectory 101,” in which over 100 attendees gathered to discuss best practices for career advancement in today’s dynamic and diverse real estate industry. Speakers Mitch Bonnano, Director of Development at Vornado, and Matt Metro, founder of real estate executive search firm The Maison Group, shared their individual stories and insights into the real meaning of professional growth.
The discussion opened with an overview of each panelist’s story, which included a risky move from an established firm to a virtually unknown start-up, and a calculated decision to start a firm from the ground up. In particular, Mitch’s circuitous journey from an engineering and construction background to lead developer for one of the country’s most highly respected landlords illustrated the importance of building a resume and skillset and underscored the importance of hard work and passion in the workplace. Pulling from his lengthy recruiting experience, Matt added context to the discussion by citing scenarios in which candidates met or fell short of their goals and the takeaways from each.
Following introductions, the event evolved into a uniquely interactive Q&A session with attendees and panelists examining an array of topics, including how to prepare for a market downturn, positioning for a lateral move within the industry (development, construction, acquisitions, etc.), collecting intel on a firm from the outside, establishing a good rapport in the workplace, and the merits of an MBA in real estate, among others. As the night wrapped up, Matt reiterated a point that was consistent throughout the night’s discussion: To make the wisest long-term career decisions, professionals must identify their true aspirations, strengths and weaknesses.
Following the presentation, attendees had a chance to ask questions in a one-on-one setting while networking with their peers at ChurchKey on 14th Street.