“Why do you wake up in the morning?” “Tell me about your greatest leadership failures.”
I had an opportunity to moderate a panel this summer where startup CEOs advised on healthy workplace culture and professional development. My summer host and Doorward CEO, Daniel Jakubisin, emphasized the importance of creating a collaborative work culture and opening doors for others to move forward in real estate. Hearing from Daniel and the other startup veterans on the panel helped to shape my expression and growth this summer.
When I came to Doorward, I wanted to figure out all the ins and outs of running a successful startup. My background as a finance and design student in the interdisciplinary Beyond Boundaries Program means I love to think about the facets of diverse fields and connect with similarly motivated people.
Doorward is a market network with monetization and networking tools for the entire real estate ecosystem, from investors to contractors, vendors to landlords, beginners to experts. The company emphasizes teamwork, transparency, and safeguarding against bad faith actors, especially as the real estate investing community has many who wish to create unfair deals that seek to benefit only themselves.
Observing how Doorward ran was insightful, and I had the opportunity to work on several fruitful projects this summer. Regarding our platform, I presented feedback on streamlining the UI/UX experience for ease of access. We also expanded into our Doorward Thinking podcast, where Nate LeBlanc, our engagement guide, sits down with real estate investing knowledge experts and interviews them on their work. On one episode, we talked about my summer experience and internship insights. I also came on for a podcast with a Cleveland mortgage expert, where we had a lively discussion on generational divides and their influences on mortgages, trust, and real estate finances.
I researched our strategic partnerships, which meant coordinating and designing campaigns for our partners in New York, San Francisco, and St. Louis. My output ranged from arranging design materials for our New York partner’s presentation on Doorward at the National Real Estate Investing Association, pitching a focus group and real estate investing accelerator for our San Francisco friends, and managing in-person events and launch parties with our St. Louis allies.
As the Doorward family ended my internship with celebratory barbeque, I reflected on my summer insights on real estate investing, exploration of the city through our partners, and how to move forward from this experience.
At the beginning of my internship, I chatted with Fellowship alums who gave me tips on professionalism, MetroLink routing, and dressing for the hot St. Louis summers. During my experience, I gained a network of experts with a public-spirited goal of generating wealth for all.
To enter the workforce, I learned, is to have a community of people who came before you and want to give back to your development. I want to move forward with this same mindset and leave my internship eager to give back as my mentors did for me.