Fantastic Mentors and Where to Find Them

“There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension: the other is with anticipation.” Jim Rohn

Finding your life’s calling is often viewed as winding and tumultuous. Numerous institutions, organizations, and professions exist for the sole purpose of helping people find their life’s purpose. Mentorship is one such strategy. Under the skilled guidance of another who’s ‘been there done that,’ do we have an opportunity to learn the breadth of our interests and talents and the depth of our courage.  HOBY has one such opportunity for anyone aged 18-25 near Cushman and Wakefield Offices across the U.S. HOBY alumna Kathleen O’Donnell shares her experience with finding a mentor through HOBY’s Cushman and Wakefield Mentorship program.


My name is Kathleen O’Donnell, and I participated in the HOBY Cushman and Wakefield Student Mentorship program last year. I was a HOBY Ambassador in 2017. After the seminar ended,  I looked to get more involved with the many leadership opportunities and activities that HOBY has to offer. I contacted the HOBY office and requested that they put me on all of their email lists so that I could participate in anything and everything that I could. It was only a few days later that I found the Cushman and Wakefield Mentorship Program, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.

I quickly signed up online and was assigned to the program in Atlanta! Our program met for two hours, once a month for about eight months. The time went by much too fast! I really enjoyed the small size of our group. The Atlanta program had three amazing mentors who were excited about our being there and were truly interested in sharing their experience in the working world with students in high school and college like us. All of the mentors were real estate brokers who had a lot of experience in the commercial real estate field, but yet they were very down to earth and engaging. Even though they taught us a lot about their work life and leadership skills, they were equally as interested in the participants’ experience in school and other activities.

The environment was very relaxed in the office on the 31st floor, overlooking the Atlanta skyline. The mentorship program covered a lot of ground but wasn’t on a restrictive schedule. We covered various planning, organization, and anti-procrastinatory skills which contributed to understanding work-life balance. We also went over the importance of networking, having a proper resume, interview skills, and career paths. Over and beyond this, the mentors shared their expertise in the corporate real estate world and explained the different aspects and branches of corporate real estate which, before this program, I knew nothing about. The mentors thoroughly planned ahead for the meetings by compiling videos, stories, and speakers from their office to give us the best outlook on each and every topic and career. They encouraged us to get a feel for the office and to walk around and see what each department had to offer. I felt welcomed by the hospitality of the Cushman and Wakefield mentors.

My favorite part of the mentorship program was how open the mentors were to my fellow students and I. They were honestly happy to have us there. They spared no effort in giving us the best mentorship experience possible. I remember several times when the mentors stayed after our allotted meeting times to go over just one more thing or to take us on a tour of one of their projects, whether it be in the office, in the building, or even across the street. During one of our meetings in early spring, the group took a trip across the street to look at one of the major projects currently going on in downtown Atlanta. We looked at the designs in their virtual reality presentation. After that, the mentors invited us to listen to jazz music at sunset on top of one of the buildings overlooking the city!

The mentorship program wasn’t just another leadership opportunity or class for me. The Cushman and Wakefield Mentorship Program taught me to be more confident in myself. It taught me valuable lessons that no high school class could ever teach me. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone, and I am very excited to participate in the mentorship program again this year!

The Cushman & Wakefield Mentorship program is accepting applications for the 2018/2019 school year. For more information and to sign up click below.


Kathleen O’Donnell is a senior at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia. She attended the Georgia Southeast HOBY seminar in 2017, and she was a member of the Junior Staff in 2018. Kathleen is a high achieving student, hoping to attend the University of Georgia for college, and she loves to read, run, and flies planes in her spare time.