The Leader Magazine

MAR 2019

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the leader March 2019 47 How long have you been with your company? a nd how long have you been in corporate real estate (C re )? t ell us about your career path. I am only new in my role consulting to Guzman y Gomez, having moved from Queensland to New South Wales six months ago. Prior to this I was state director in the Tenant Advisory Group for Cushman & Wakefield, working with multi-national and international end users. I spent the earlier part of my career on the landlord side in the agency, managing both commercial and retail properties, which has given me a greater understanding of corporate real estate. When you started your C re career, how did you learn what you needed to know? d id you have a mentor, either formal or informal, who helped guide your skill growth and provide support and advice? t ell us about how that relationship came to be and how it helped you. Unfortunately, in my early career I didn't have a mentor or anyone helping to guide me with my career choices. I can say, though, now having a number of both formal and informal mentors, this is a must for anyone starting out in the CRE profession. Having a mentor in both your field of expertise and outside can be of great benefit and it's these relationships that have helped me through some of my greatest career transitions. l eah Ong, MCR Real Estate Development Manager Consulting to Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria More recently, I was accepted in the inaugural CoreNet Global mentoring program (Mentor Match), which provided a unique opportunity to learn and gain valuable insights from senior leaders within the CRE field. This is a great initiative from CoreNet Global and I would encourage both mentors and mentees to sign up. What was the best advice you received related to your career, and whom did it come from? l ooking back, why do you believe it was the best advice? The most valuable advice was from a mentor of mine who told me when I was unsure if I should take a new position or try something new just to say "yes" and work out how to do it later. Too often, we can second-guess ourselves and our ability, but sometimes you just need to take that one opportunity and you soon realise you are more than capable of doing it. What was your personal reason/ motivation for seeking the MC r designation? When did you earn it, and how long did you take to complete the program? I am always looking for opportunities to further educate myself professionally and the MCR designation seemed like a great option to learn and study in my specific field of CRE. I thought this would help me provide a better service to my end-user clients. Having then moved from service provider to end user, these courses became invaluable for my career progression. I earned my designation in 2018 and took around three years to complete the program. At the time I commenced, there were not a lot of courses available in Australia so my course was completed mostly overseas. But, I am very happy to hear about the new cohort program enabling people to earn their designation within 18 months through the accelerated program within Australia and New Zealand. t hinking back to the total MC r learning experience, what aspects of the MC r program were your favorites? The MCR learning experience for me has been fantastic. I have the privilege of being able to complete my designation in four countries, which has provided me with invaluable personal experience. I have been able to learn how other countries work in CRE as well as meet some amazing people along the way, many of whom I have remained in contact with. This international experience has been beneficial to my overall understanding of the CRE process. For me, one of my favourite aspects of the learning experience has been the networking. We spend a few days together but having the opportunity to do site tours and dinners together is wonderful, and the real-life experiences we all discuss during the course itself. Hearing from other people in the same situation as you, as well as brainstorming different situations, has been a really positive experience and brings about some great camaraderie within the group. How has achieving the MC r designation helped you professionally, and what would you say to other C re professionals who don't yet have their MC r ? The MCR has been invaluable for me professionally. There are many courses you can do but this MCR is specific to CRE, which means we work on real-life examples and issues that we can take into our own workplaces. This course was so valuable to my education and experience that I have also now accepted a position as part of the faculty team delivering courses both in Australia and overseas as well as actively assisting with and promoting the 2019/2020 MCR cohort to our members. So, I would say to anyone who is considering whether to do the course, just sign up! You have the ability to learn and network, and having completed this course as both a service provider and end user, I can say it is a great opportunity. t ell us about your family. d o you have any hobbies or special interests? I have just recently celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary and 20 years together with my husband, which has been a significant milestone for us. We recently moved to Sydney from Brisbane, which has been an exciting and rewarding change and we are loving the city very much. I enjoy fishing and boating and, in my spare time, I work with a number of charities and not-for-profits in a board and volunteering capacity, which is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. For more information about the Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) program, visit or contact Amy Dreher at MCR PROFILE

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