The CREW Vancouver Mentorship Program (VMP) is designed to support and encourage an exchange of ideas, experiences, and friendships among commercial real estate professionals in our local network.
We match CREW Vancouver members (mentees) with experienced professionals with 10+ years in the industry. Our goal is to develop meaningful relationships between mentors and mentees that will last beyond the timeline of the program.
No one can better inform you of the unique features and benefits of the VMP than current mentors and mentees. That’s why we asked mentee Megan Hymanyk (Sales and Marketing Coordinator at PC Urban) and mentor Beth Berry (VP Industrial Development at Beedie) to provide our members with the inside scoop.
Q: Megan/Beth, before diving into how the CREW Vancouver Mentorship Program (VMP) has benefitted you and how it works, can you each tell us a bit about your jobs and your rolls as mentor/ mentee and how long you have been a part of the program?
A: Megan: I have actually transitioned roles in the past year, so when the mentorship program first began last April, I was working at Avison Young as a Client Services Coordinator. In November 2020, I made the move to PC Urban Properties, taking on the role of Sales and Marketing Coordinator. In this position, I oversee the project marketing and sales programs for the company’s industrial strata projects in the Greater Vancouver and Victoria markets. 2020 was my first year as a mentee, and I was very excited to be paired with Beth!
A: Beth: I’m starting my 14th year at Beedie as VP of Industrial Development. I came from an analyst/transaction/marketing background, so my focus started on strata transactions at Beedie learning development. My role now spans acquisitions, speculative and built-to-suit project developments, sales and marketing, and government relations. I have been part of the program for approximately one year. It has benefitted me by providing insight into the up-and-coming generations experience in commercial real estate.
Q: For those new to the VMP and wondering how it works - how did you get paired and how often do you meet?
A: Megan: When the program begins in April, all mentees are provided with the list of potential mentors. Mentees then select three potential mentors who they are most interested in being paired with. CREW does a great job of selecting mentors who have diverse backgrounds and broad experience within the various facets of commercial real estate. I chose Beth as a potential mentor because she had an impressive career as the Vice President of Industrial Development at Beedie. I also knew that she had started her career in brokerage and transitioned into development, a career move that I was also hoping to make.
We met in the summer and fall in person, and as Covid cases have been on the rise, we have switched to monthly phone calls.
A: Beth: I was approached by CREW to consider mentoring. This is something I have always been willing and happy to do, what I like about CREW’s program is the term of the relationship. It can be hard to really get to know a person or what you might be able to offer (and learn) in a one-time meeting. We started meeting in person and have shifted to more regularly scheduled monthly calls.
Q: What drove you to sign up for the VMP and so far, what have been your biggest takeaways? Why would you recommend joining?
A: Megan: I had heard great things about the mentorship program from colleagues who had been mentees in previous years. While I have been incredibly fortunate to have great mentors at both Avison Young and PC Urban, I knew that the mentorship program would be another great way to get advice and guidance from other experienced professionals in the industry.
Going into the mentorship program, I knew that Beth began her career in brokerage and then moved into development, which was a transition that I was hoping to eventually make. As I’ve transitioned into my new role at PC Urban, I have been very fortunate to benefit from her advice and guidance.
One thing I wanted to accomplish through mentorship was to focus on regular goal setting. We regularly discuss my career goals for the short- and long-term future. I really value our conversations and appreciate that Beth provides such honest answers and advice based on her own extensive knowledge and experience.
One other positive impact that comes from the program is meeting your cohort of fellow mentees. Even though we have been virtual in our gatherings this year, it has been great to get to know the other mentees involved in the program, and to get feedback from them on how they have structured their time with their mentors.
A: Beth: From the mentor perspective, it has been a while since I was in brokerage. It was great to hear about how Megan was approaching her role there before she moved to development. She was on a very well-respected team. It is also great connecting with the up-and-coming members of the commercial real estate community and helping another female navigate what can sometimes be a challenging industry!
Q: Covid-19 has really impacted the way we interact and connect, how have you adapted as mentor/mentee with this changing landscape, and what are some techniques or methods you have used to stay in contact?
A: Megan: I was fortunate last summer and fall to be able to meet with Beth in person before Covid cases were on the rise. This year we have stayed in contact through virtual coffees and catch-ups.
A: Beth: I definitely admit it fell off for a bit during the second wave of Covid as we started with in person meetings, outdoors, distanced. We have just started a new approach to a shorter but more regular call, which hopefully provides Megan more benefit and regular connection!
Thank you, Megan & Beth for your insight into the CREW Vancouver Mentorship Program.
Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee?
Click below to find application information and contact details for the Education Outreach Committee.