ULI Toronto News

Inside the Mentorship Program 2014

Mentee – Jacob Iftah, Associate, Real Capital Corp.

I consider myself very fortunate to have participated in the ULI Mentorship Program. For a young real estate broker and entrepreneur like me, having the opportunity to establish relationships with the most successful people in our industry was nothing short of tremendous.

Thanks to Alex and Erin’s great matching skills, I got Signe Leisk as my Mentor. Signe is the head of Planning and Development at the law firm, Cassels Brock Lawyers. Beyond being a very successful and well-known lawyer in the city, Signe was a great Mentor and, above all, a great person. As an entrepreneur who’s planning to develop real estate in the future, it was very important for me to learn this aspect of the business and I was fortunate to learn it from one of the best in the field.

Throughout our meetings, we’ve touched upon many aspects of working in our industry, from technical information that is vital in developing successful projects to more personal matters like work-life balance. Signe and I managed to achieve our goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the program and even beyond by establishing a solid working relationship that will continue further to this program.

I sincerely recommend to any young professional who has aspirations to achieve great things in our industry to take part in this program. The program is carefully monitored and well-structured by the ULI team. They’re doing a great job in matching and selecting the best people for this program, both mentors and mentees.

I’ve learned a lot through this program and, more importantly, I’ve earned few good friends along the way.

Mentor – Signe Leisk, Partner, Cassels Brock Lawyers

Upon reading the testimonials of prior mentor-mentee pairings, I joined the ULI Mentorship Program in 2014 as it seemed like a great opportunity to meet the future leaders of the land development industry. I have not been disappointed. ULI devotes significant energy to ensuring its mentoring program is rewarding for both mentors and mentees, from initial pairings to setting clear expectations and monitoring progress.

After participating in the ULI matching program I was paired with Jacob, a young and ambitious real estate professional. Jacob is determined to become an expert in all aspects of the land development industry, both to better serve his current clients, as well as to ensure he will be a successful developer himself. We set challenging goals for ourselves, meeting regularly to discuss the land use planning process, current applications in the City, and issues currently facing the development industry.

I’ve often read that a successful mentoring relationship depends on having a mentee that is thoroughly engaged — taking ownership of his or her advancement. Jacob displays these qualities in spades. Meetings were focused and productive, always with our goals in mind. Jacob challenged me to keep up with his desire to gain practical knowledge and experience, and impressed me with his business development acumen.

I recommend the program to anyone in the industry — we can all benefit from learning more from each other.

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