When Lynn Reich, an industrial real estate broker and Executive Vice President for Colliers International, was approached to be a mentor to a Goldie Scholar, it was the appropriate time in her career. Having mentored disadvantaged high school youth before, Lynn had built the knowledge over the years in commercial real estate to take on a protégé who would be interested in hearing stories from the industry’s war zone. “I wanted to help other people because I’ve ‘seen the movie’. I wanted to be able to guide someone. If they have the right stuff, you’re going to have a successful partnership… Mentoring in the real estate business, for me, is really easy.”
Lynn was interested in mentoring someone who shared common ground, who would accept the guidance she provided. When paired up with Alex Jimenez, a Goldie Scholar who was earning her MBA from Roosevelt University, Lynn felt it was the right fit. The relationship seemed promising; Lynn soon found that she could interact with Alex in a way that delivered positive impact. Alex is a confident individual and believes in herself, but the mentoring relationship helped her realize that she has a ways to go before she becomes CEO. Lynn helped Alex discover that her career is a marathon – not a sprint – and that there are strategies for channeling confidence and excitement.
Unlike Lynn’s previous youth mentoring experiences, the relationship between Lynn and Alex resulted in measurable outcomes. After many challenging yet productive interactions, Lynn eventually helped Alex land a job as an Industrial Property Manager at Colliers International. After an initial interview that fell flat, Lynn followed up with Alex about what went wrong and strategies for the future. When the next position opened up, Alex nailed the interview and she landed the job.
Lynn credits this successful outcome to the collaborative nature of the mentoring relationship. Sharing common ground in the industry allowed for a better understanding of Alex’s needs. Lynn was able to provide specific guidance and “be a friend, but be objective.” Lynn was forced to say the tough stuff to Alex, and she was able to do so because Alex learned to like and trust her. Alex knew that Lynn had her best interests at heart. Together, they were able to dig past simply how things were going at work; their partnership took them beyond the surface to a point where they created a real bond.
Lynn has been very satisfied with the collaborative relationship that addressed real issues facing Alex and her career. After reflection, Lynn feels that despite pressing career challenges of her own, she would do it again with a scholar who has “the right stuff.” In other words, Lynn would mentor again if her scholar were someone like Alex.
Alex graduated with her MBA from Roosevelt in December 2016, and at the end of the 2016-17 academic year in June, she will become an alumna of The Goldie Initiative. But she wants to give back, and after such a positive experience with Lynn, Alex has joined The Goldie Initiative’s Mentor Task Force, where she hopes to help future Goldie Scholars gain a relationship with an impact.