“Slate has a strong culture of comradery and friendship; the environment is filled with people who genuinely care to know you. Across the global platform, the team is collaborative and supportive, as we work toward common goals, both personally and professionally, alongside the company.”
Tell us about your background before you joined Slate Asset Management.
I grew up in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, and from a young age, I took an interest in the design and evolution of the Toronto skyline. That interest followed me, and when I started my business degree at Western University’s Ivey Business School, it led me to pursue real estate.
After I graduated, I began my career in commercial real estate brokerage, working primarily in office leasing. I was inspired by the drive, ambition, and energy my colleagues and mentors showed every day. The role helped me build valuable relationships early in my professional career, many of which led me to Slate. Now, working at Slate, I’m able to utilize skills from my experiences to work with an incredible team and enhance the city that I’m so proud to call home.
As an asset manager, you wear many hats – how do you find balance to ensure each aspect of your job is handled effectively?
Strong communication, time management, and delegation skills have really helped me positively contribute to my team. Having a consistent, open dialogue with my managers and teammates also helps me prioritize and set clear deadlines, which, in turn, helps me to produce higher quality work.
Slate’s entrepreneurial culture provides fantastic learning opportunities and encourages young professionals to take on meaningful roles in new projects. While some individuals may feel pressured to manage these projects on their own, Slate has taught me the importance of working effectively as a team to reach a common goal.
Tell us about an obstacle you’ve had to overcome at work and what you learned from it.
During my first year at Slate, I had the opportunity to help lead the closing process for a multi-million-dollar acquisition. As the primary point of contact, I had to collaborate and build trust with a variety of stakeholders, including our internal team, external clients, property managers, and legal counsel. This was my first time running a closing for an acquisition and presented a new challenge for me.
Taking initiative and asking questions were paramount to my success; it helped me understand nuances of the deal and confidently relay information to our broader team. I also learned to lean on the expertise of my teammates, asking for guidance when I needed it. Although new career challenges can be uncomfortable at the outset, the confidence and professional growth you gain from those experiences is so rewarding.
How does the culture and dynamic at the firm allow you to succeed in your role?
Slate has a strong culture of comradery and friendship; the environment is filled with people who genuinely care to know you. Across the global platform, the team is collaborative and supportive, as we work toward common goals, both personally and professionally, alongside the company.
Our senior management team is extremely approachable. On top of their breadth of experience, their openness and willingness to share advice is extremely valuable. Through my own conversations with our senior leaders, I have expanded my knowledge of real estate well beyond my current role. Slate’s culture facilitates these connections, which are so pivotal for young professionals in the early stages of their career.
What advice do you have for young professionals interested in a career in real estate?
It’s important to identify mentors that support, motivate, and challenge you to achieve your goals. When I started at Slate, I was on a different team that focused on the asset management of our core and core-plus portfolios. As I gained experience and progressed in my role, I was encouraged to expand my skillset and investment acumen by pursuing a portfolio management role on our opportunistic and value-add real estate team. Having a mentor that encourages me to take on new growth opportunities has been critical in my personal and professional success.
I would also stress the importance of finding balance. This can be challenging when you’re working to prove yourself early in your career, but finding activities outside of the office that bring you joy feeds back into your ability to excel at work. For me, this includes trying new workout classes with friends and getting more involved within the real estate community.
How has mentorship influenced the trajectory of your career?
Growing up with two accomplished older sisters, I’ve always valued the importance of mentorship. I began my career at Slate on an all-female team, which was incredibly empowering. These women, along with many other leaders at Slate, have been meaningful role models to me and have helped shaped my career in real estate. They encourage young professionals like myself to take risks and bet on ourselves, and I am incredibly grateful for their guidance and encouragement.