Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Erica Henning, Vice President for Portfolio Management for Lionstone Investments. Erica, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Erica: Thank you Leisa for having me, delighted to be here.
Leisa: So you have a big job as a Vice President for Portfolio Management for a big investment firm. I’m going to bet on the swing set in the backyard that was not your vision of your future. Tell us how you achieved this success.
Erica: So on a high level it was through a lot of grit and perseverance and hard work. More specifically in terms of my leadership path I’ve benefitted from the wisdom and experience of others and paid attention and learned from leaders I admired, and conversely learned what not to do; what kind of leader I didn’t want to be from leaders I didn’t particularly admire. I deliberately chose my career path when I graduated from college because I wanted a line role as opposed to a staff position.
I wanted to be in a place where I was impacting the profitability of the business. And I chose commercial real estate because it’s tangible and you can see the results of your efforts and I still today get just as much of a kick out of seeing a project come to fruition as I did when I started in the industry 15 years ago. And I attribute my success to getting into commercial real estate through a very strong work ethic, drive to succeed and my academic background.
Leisa: Wow, so was there any one step that made more of a difference than any other?
Erica: I think cumulatively everything has built on each other but what was particularly noteworthy and meaningful for me was going back to business school, getting an MBA and that really gave me the launching point to switch my career into real estate, which was not the filed that I was originally working in when I graduated from college.
Leisa: So you were pretty strategic about this.
Erica: I was. I very much thought what is it that I’m passionate about and then how do I make a career out of doing that? I had always loved real estate before I knew what a career in real estate entailed. I like to joke about how I bought an apartment when I was an analyst in New York City in the late 90s simply because I just thought it was really interesting and I had the ability to do it.
Leisa: Wow, fantastic. Thank you for sharing.
Leisa: There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland Nelson, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Astoundz, your one search, one click, one company resource for all things interactive, especially optimized websites. You can find me at Astoundz.com or follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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