On the evening of November 22nd, 2017 at the offices of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Vancouver, the ULI BC Young Leaders Group hosted its inaugural mentorship event to a sold-out audience of enthusiastic young professionals. Moderator Julie Taylorson (Partner, Taylor Ryan) began the evening with a testament to mentorship as “one of the best things you can do for your career,” and this was echoed by the five members of the expert panel who shared their own career paths with gratitude to the people who helped them along the way.
Mentors can challenge you to think differently about the problems you face and challenge you to question your assumptions, said Rob Blackwell (Senior Vice President, Development, Anthem). In a common theme to the evening, mentors can come from different stages of their own careers and thus provide a vital sounding board to the issues that we as young professionals may face having been there themselves. Simultaneously – as Graham Twyford-Myles (Senior Associate, Stantec) notes – mentors ensure that you are held accountable for your own career aspirations when they care about the outcome. Despite the huge impact mentorship can have, Marc Ricou (Senior Vice President, Development Acquisitions, QuadReal) suggested that the process does not need to be formal, and meetings can be casual in an office setting or over a coffee. Industry experts are often more likely than not willing to have a casual meeting to discuss their careers, and this opportunity should not be taken for granted when you are a young professional.
After the panel session, attendees broke into group sessions in a fast-paced speed mentoring format with each of the five panel members and the moderator. During this, Mona Lovgreen (Associate Architect, DIALOG) spoke through her own experiences about the need to be proactive about finding mentors, and that opportunities do not necessarily come to those who wait. Kevin Quinlan (Chief of Staff, City of Vancouver Mayor’s Office) agrees, saying that the process of mentorship is all about seizing opportunities when they come up. In a common theme of the evening, being energetic, enthusiastic, and seeking new mentors seems to pay off for those looking to achieve their career goals.
Katie Maslechko (Development Manager, Beedie Group) and Adam Mitchell (Director, Investments, Bentall Kennedy), co-chairs of the ULI BC Young Leaders Group, closed off the evening with gratitude for the industry experts who took the time to speak to the YLG members. This was the first of what is hoped to be many annual mentorship evenings to come, and the packed house left feeling eager about reaching their own potential through mentorship.
Julie Taylorson, Partner, Taylor Ryan (Moderator)
Rob Blackwell, Senior Vice President, Development, Anthem
Mona Lovgreen, Associate Architect, DIALOG
Kevin Quinlan, Chief of Staff, City of Vancouver Mayor’s Office
Marc Ricou, Senior VP, Development Acquisitions, QuadReal
Graham Twyford-Miles, Senior Associate, Stantec