The Winter/Spring 2017 semester provided Goldie Scholars with an amazing new benefit to program participation: direct access to renowned commercial real estate entrepreneur, Goldie B. Wolfe Miller, Founder of The Goldie Initiative. During each “Wednesdays with Goldie” call, Goldie gets on the phone with a current Goldie Scholar, and creates a personal connection. She speaks with each scholar for at least thirty minutes about the topic(s) of the scholar’s choosing, which can range from personal advice to strategies for career advancement. Although there is no set agenda, scholars are given a range of questions to get the conversations started. These questions can address issues such as working in a male-dominated environment and challenges to a career path in commercial real estate.
Because The Goldie Initiative emphasizes the strategic value of mentoring, “Wednesdays with Goldie” helps achieve the organization’s mission, which is to prepare women for senior leadership roles in all sectors of commercial real estate. A core element of the two-year Goldie Scholars program is to match each scholar with a mentor who is senior-level executive in Chicago’s commercial real estate industry. As an added bonus, scholars get to hone their networking skills and receive valuable advice and guidance from Goldie herself. As Forbes recently noted, Millennials – who make up the majority of The Goldie Initiative scholar pool – “appreciate events stimulating genuine connections with colleagues much more [than traditional networking events].”
Each call is unique, and feedback reveals that each of the scholars have benefited from their interactions with Goldie in some way. One scholar was able to hear some guidance on how to improve her interview techniques, while another scholar asked Goldie for advice on how to work with a younger, male boss. After Goldie heard that yet another scholar had changed jobs, she discovered that the scholar and her new boss would be interested in helping plan and generate sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming Gala celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The Goldie Initiative on September 14, 2017.
After some initial success of the “Wednesdays with Goldie” program, The Goldie Initiative plans to continue providing scholars direct access to Goldie in the upcoming 2017-18 academic year. Goldie is looking forward to connecting with the upcoming class of Goldie Scholars, and she encourages all interested students to apply now.