A career building podcast powered by NorthBridge

In Coffee Connectors’ How I Got My Job podcast, hosts Bea Thevenot and Dean Atkins hold a lively Q&A with a commercial real estate leader. Listeners will hear stories of failure, triumph, and basic survival. The reveal of hard-won wisdom and tips make How I Got My Job a can’t-miss for both first-gen students and commercial real estate first-timers alike.


  • Anar Chudgar, Co-President of Artemis Real Estate Partners sits down with us for an honest conversation about shedding perceptions, focusing on your own performance and how mentoring relationships are really built.

  • Take a page out of Jon Martin’s playbook and learn how to approach internal networking, growth, and opportunity within an organization. Jon reviews his path to CEO at AEW Capital Management, LP—one of the largest investment management firms in the world—and reminds us just how powerful your first impression can be.

  • Massiel Flores, a successful first gen student, shares her experiences being a Connectee with Coffee Connectors, a 2023 Opportunity Intern at NorthBridge, and landing a brand-new job at Partners Capital! Hear Massiel’s thoughtful insights and tips about getting to know the people around you, being genuine, and making yourself useful.

  • This episode is packed with tips and insight from Hillary Shine, the founder of Shine Associates, a real estate executive search and advisory firm. Hillary discusses the value of soft and hard skills, training programs at large banking and CRE firms, and becoming more self-aware about your skills and interests. Hear priceless pointers on interviewing, how to be more memorable, and what to expect in 2024 hiring trends. 

  • Amanda Strong joins us from MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo). Deeply shaped by her military family roots, and the network infrastructure that college provided, Amanda discovered a love of entrepreneurship and business, and was able to follow her passions, build relationships and expertise, and most importantly, recognize when to take chances. Amanda encourages first-generation students to use their unique backgrounds to their advantage, to have the courage to speak up, and bring a new perspective to the table. 

  • Peter Braffman, Managing Director at GCM Grosvenor, shares his journey from pre-med to Wall Street to commercial real estate to law school, with one fateful train ride, and a plan to convince his parents to give him a chance! Peter reminds us that CRE is an apprenticeship business, and working in a culture that supports growth, keeping open to new opportunities, and always doing your research are critical ingredients to finding your best role in the industry. 

  • Colleen Fonseca of Builders of Color Coalition shares her career journey into commercial real estate, driven by her passion to help diverse individuals gain access to new connections, resources, and opportunities in the industry. Colleen encourages students to use their college career centers, nurture their relationships, take time to reflect, and to take a leap of faith!

  • An immigrant from Sri Lanka, Sajith talks about his success in real estate investment and finance, despite starting out with limited resources and connections. He advises on the importance of creating your own opportunity, pushing through rejections, and how to make yourself into the type of candidate employers want on their team.

  • Ashleigh shares his story of growing up in an immigrant family and how his experience in the military led him to a career in commercial real estate. He speaks frankly about “being the only” and bringing your whole self to work. Hear how one of Ashleigh’s most pivotal career moments was all about how he simply “followed up!”



    Hear the origins of How I Got My Job, why it means so much to Bea & Dean, and themes to look for in upcoming episodes.

  • RESOURCE (7:55)

    Bea & Dean review the keys to preparing for the big commercial real estate introductory meeting: how to tell your story, how to be relevant to your interviewer, and how to leave a good impression.

  • A compilation of How I Got My Job highlights featuring Amanda Strong, Jon Martin, Peter Braffman, Jeff McDonnell, Christina Scarlato, Ashleigh Simpson, Sajith Ranasinghe and Massiel Flores. Listen to their full episodes to hear more! 


  • Listen in on a career panel featuring Nagib Charles, Patrick Kimble, Megha Vadula, Tammy Tang, and Greg Lauze as they discuss pivotal moments in their lives, different career paths, and how to get your break into the commercial real estate network.

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