A Day of Shadowing: An Exciting Mentorship Opportunity

Julee Zack • 7/24/2019
On July 18, Cushman & Wakefield organized “A Day of Shadowing” and hosted several driven, intelligent students hand-selected by our community partner, Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA).

A Day of Shadowing group pic

“Giving back is at the heart of our culture, and the opportunity to showcase our industry and the role that Cushman & Wakefield plays was a truly tremendous opportunity to make a difference,” said Brett Gray, Managing Principal. “We were honored to host the talented students of YBLA and look forward to a successful partnership in the future.”

Founded in Charlotte in 2006, YBLA aims to create a new reality for young black men and women in high school, college and beyond by providing unique opportunities to motivate them and help shape the way they look at their future. YBLA offers a thorough “leadership” training program, and provides the student members with professional real-world exposure on both a local and global level. Cushman & Wakefield was excited for the opportunity to begin this new and valuable alliance, and tailored the Day of Shadowing to fit the students’ interest levels.

“As the Career Development Chair for our local chapter of Blacks United in Leadership Development and a member of Cushman Cares, I thought it would be great to combine our efforts for a shadowing experience as an opportunity to give back to our local youth,” said Summerlin Gillam, Project Manager. “YBLA recently launched its college ambassador department, and we had a fantastic opportunity to share our industry with the amazing student leaders from that program.”

The students were introduced to several service lines throughout A Day of Shadowing, including commercial retail/office leasing, financial analysis, project management, property management, IT service tech, marketing, Global Occupier Services and more. They spent the day partnered with a volunteer employee, experiencing what an average day entails and learning what our market and industry demands of us. They were included on conference calls, office meetings, project or property site visits, and other responsibilities.

IT presentation cushman & wakefield career development

Additionally, a group video chat was held introducing committee members of Blacks United in Leadership Development (BUILD) who sit in other markets and are involved in various services lines. Through that interaction, the students were able to ask questions about their professional journey and the personal goals they achieved.

Blacks United in Leadership & DevelopmentCushman Cares and BUILD collaborated in this effort to meet two primary agendas – making a positive impact on our community and mentoring new talent. This event was a new initiative that Cushman & Wakefield’s Charlotte office explored successfully, with hopes to spark participation in other Cushman & Wakefield markets as a yearly event.


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