I first found out about Project Destined a few years after the program launched, as I began to hear from colleagues and peers about this innovative program that was already having a significant impact on cultivating industry engagement in the next generation. The program immediately piqued my interest and the interest of my colleagues—an experience-based, mentorship-focused commercial real estate education program aimed at creating pathways for new leaders and owners in the sector? We had to know more.
The more we learned, the more impressed and eager to participate we were. For me in particular, the goal of the program hit home.
I grew up in CRE—my dad ran real estate private equity funds and would take me to look at properties with him as a kid. For me, a career in commercial real estate always seemed like a possibility—a rarity for many women of my generation, to say the least. My experience was unique and invaluable in setting me on the career path that brought me to Berkadia. I love what I do, and I hate to think that more generations will miss out on the opportunities and experiences I was fortunate enough to have because they were never introduced to the CRE industry.
At the same time, I know the commercial real estate industry suffers for its lack of diversity—we’re missing out on bright, creative minds that will bring new experiences and perspectives to our industry that will propel it forward.
Enter Project Destined. The Project Destined team, led by Co-Founder Cedric Bobo, is an apprenticeship and education platform that trains students about real estate investing through working with industry mentors on live deals in their neighborhood. The program’s motto is: Teaching students how to become owners.
Earlier in October, we kicked off our first internship program based in Philadelphia. Four Berkadians are working with a cohort of nine students from Temple University, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania through the 8-week internship program touching on everything from acquisition to property management to market analysis. As of this writing, I’m proud to announce that our team placed first in the first rotation presentation. Go Berkadia cohort!
More importantly, I’m proud that we’re able to be a part of these students’ journey. I hope that they find CRE as exciting and engaging as we do, and that they’ll consider it as a future career path. But most of all, I hope that in our work with Project Destined, the students are empowered to realize that there is a wide world of possibilities out there for them and that they have the skills and talent to tackle any industry, no matter how unfamiliar it may seem at first. Every industry will benefit from more participants of different backgrounds bringing unique experience and perspective to the table.
We’re honored and thrilled to support Project Destined and the work they’re doing to cultivate a new generation of CRE leaders. And we’re grateful. We can’t wait to share more as we continue to work with, and learn from, our current and future cohorts. I’ve never been more energized or optimistic about the future of our industry.