Alexandra Phillips, Project Manager – Stantec Real Estate Services Group
When I graduated college, I had a degree that provided me with a hard skill, Spanish, but not a career. I landed a job at CoStar in Washington, DC, knowing I had an interest in architecture and city building, but not knowing very much about real estate. CoStar provided me with an excellent foundational knowledge of real estate, but it was getting involved in ULI that piqued my interest in urban planning and real estate development. I dove into ULI Washington’s Young Leader’s Group (YLG) and started both planning and attending as many events as possible. I found the programming to be fascinating and informative, and the members to be equally as impressive.
When I moved back home to Boston in 2015 after getting my Master’s, ULI was one of my first stops. At the time, I was looking for a job and hoping to expand my network and meet as many people in the Boston real estate world as I could.I met with then-Executive Director Sarah Barnat, who connected me with a few members in hopes of helping me along my job search, and suggested I begin attending the YLG meetings. The YLG was a great find. In addition to being extremely welcoming, everyone was doing interesting work, and the group was planning events that dug into some of the deeper questions about real estate. I was excited to be once again a part of organizing events that asked tough questions and brought a diverse set of people together. More recently, I was lucky to have a role in planning the most recent annual YLG Fall Panel on Innovation, Technology, and Efficiency.
In my role at Stantec, I work mainly for public sector and institutional clients but am exposed to designers, developers, brokers, attorneys, and other real estate professionals daily. All of the sub-disciplines of real estate and land use are intricately connected, and I find ULI to be an invaluable platform for bringing these individuals together.
The events put on by both the YLG and the larger membership draw me in, but the network of people attracted by ULI is, to me, the best part about being involved. I learn something new every time I attend a YLG meeting or ULI event, and that makes me want to be a better consultant. I’m excited to be stepping into my new role as YLG Co-Chair and am looking forward to what the next couple of years in ULI will bring.