Education and Your Career Path - Making the Connection

Education and Your Career Path – Making the Connection

Episode 64

Property management education is changing. More and more schools are offering dedicated programs specific to the property management industry. We sat down with two recent University of Georgia graduates to pick their brains on their education experience and how it helped them choose their career paths.

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Show Highlights

We are so happy that Anna and Dammian agreed to join us and share their incredible experiences. They shared how they started on their education paths and the defining moments that solidified their career choices. If you are considering a career in property management, their insights will give you a high-level overview of how to get started and what to expect.

Key Questions/Topics Covered

Changing Education Lanes

Both Anna and Dammian started out on very different education paths. For Dammian, he was initially interested in going into the medical field, while Anna was focused on agricultural business. Both found that something was missing. They struggled with their studies and did not find much enjoyment in what they were learning.

Dammian’s introduction to property management actually happened while working at a hotel. He was intrigued by a visitor that stayed with them every month with the bill being covered by the gentleman’s company. Liking the sounds of traveling while getting paid, he inquired, and the gentleman explained what he did and encouraged him to apply for a summer internship in student housing. He did and knew he had found the right fit and adjusted his studies to focus on the property management business.

Anna was already studying business but knew she needed a focus. Coming from a family with experience in property management, she thought she would give a class a try. She attended a class led by Professor Sherle Brown on housing management and policy and knew she was hooked. She had found her major.

Building Confidence in Your Career Choice

Both Anna and Dammian expressed how the in-depth curriculum and their instructors were integral to building confidence. For Anna, the curriculum touching on so many facets of the property management industry gave her the confidence to move forward and begin building experience to match what she had learned. For Dammian, getting involved with IREM helped him build a solid foundation through networking and getting to know property management professionals from across the country.

Property Management Education Highlights

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Well, at least some things do. Thankfully for Dammian, his experience at The Global Summit will be something that stays with him forever. He had the privilege to attend as the 2021 Student Scholar for the University of Georgia, and he didn’t know what to expect. He was amazed when he was welcomed with open arms by industry professionals ready and willing to answer his many questions. The amount of networking and knowledge sharing that happened at this event truly solidified his career path.

For Anna, you could say that property management is in the blood. Her father worked in property management as she grew up and regularly shared his experience with her. This would help in part as she began her major. She noticed fellow students weren’t engaging with the course material while she couldn’t get enough. Anna found herself flying through everything and looking for more. She, too, joined IREM and found it to be an eye-opening experience. There she found mentors that influenced her and helped her continue to build relationships.

Advice for New Students

Anna: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and build meaningful relationships. Follow up and check in with your network on a regular basis. Continue to learn and find as many mentors as possible.

Dammian: Don’t be afraid of failure and change. It’s okay not to know what you want to do or change your education. Use this time to figure out who you are. Make sure that this is the industry for you.

If you are considering a career in property management, we welcome you. Our industry is ever-growing and changing and provides so many opportunities. Of course, we are always available to help and encourage you to reach out with any thoughts or questions you might have.

Class dismissed!

Jonathan (00:15): Hello everyone. And welcome to Juvohub podcast. My name is Jonathan Saar and having fun alongside with me is Mark Howell, my awesome, amazing cohost from Howl Creative Concepts. What's happening my friend? How are you?

Mark (00:31): Hey man. Yeah, look just in this for another day, I always excited to see who we get to have as a guest on our show and get to talk about some really juicy, great stuff. So I'm excited.

Jonathan (00:42): Yeah. Yeah. We can't wait to introduce two fantastic guests today. Recently graduated from the University of Georgia, but just a couple housekeeping items. Just remember if you love this podcast, please give us a review on your favorite podcast station. We also have a YouTube version for those who use our shows for training purposes. So you can check us out on YouTube, just search for Juvohub and you'll find us. And we are also on Instagram at Juvohub. So please connect with us there. So I am super, super excited about today's conversation. Let's start it off by welcoming Anna Gronholm and Dammian Gonzalez. Welcome to the show guys. It is so, so fantastic to have you at the time of this recording, you are just a couple of days away from graduating from the university of Georgia. So, and an amazing congratulations to the both of you like that is just such an achievement. And, you know, we wanted to have you on this show. We've we've watched, you know, your interactions with the Institute of Real Estate Management. I have the esteem privilege of being on the public relations committee with both of you for our Georgia chapter. And we wanted our audience just to hear your take on what it has been like going through university, having a track and like where that's taking you today. So welcome to the show.

Dammian (02:28): Thank you.

Anna (02:29): Yeah. Thank you for having us. Yeah. Thank you so much. We're really honored and grateful to be able to chat with you guys today. And I cannot believe that I'm sitting down to be on a podcast

Mark (02:39):

Jonathan (02:40): Yeah, definitely.

Mark (02:41): Makes you feel good.

Jonathan (02:43): Yeah. And it's like I said, it's gonna be a great conversation. We can't wait to to see what the impact is gonna have on our industry. Mark and I go back quite a few years and we think of other initiatives that started here in Georgia, particularly like Mark, what do you say over 10 years ago or so? With like the Peggy Wasum, the bowling event and how so many were involved in trying to get property management education available as a career path with the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and others. So, I mean, it's just cool to have two living examples of that in action and yeah. And seeing the benefits that come from it.

Mark (03:31): You know, it's crazy, Jonathan, I, our industry, we are struggling to, it seems like right now we're struggling to find really great talent. You know, when I talk to my clients about recruiting or going out there and finding people for the industry, a lot of them say they're struggling to find great talent. And I mean, I'm looking at two amazing people right here in front of us that you'll probably, I think already have jobs, but that's what I'm talking about. It's about going to the local colleges and trying to recruit people into our industry. And I know the apartment association, Debbie Phillips, a lot of people have gone out and really been very successful doing that. But I mean, to me, I have loved watching that process for the last several years, the talent that has been coming out of the local colleges a lot like Georgia because what they bring to the table has really been changing the industry. So I can't wait to get into these guys' minds about what is the future for us cause Jonathan and I we're old dudes, you know, so we're excited about seeing what y'all are gonna do, what you're gonna change.

Anna (04:39): But we're excited to change the industry. We love it, how it is, but we're excited to make those impactful changes and build those relationships and really just build it up, keep going up.

Jonathan (04:49): Awesome. Awesome. Love it. Well, let's kick it off with a question maybe we can start off with with you Dammian on this one. So when you started out at UGA, was that the, was property management, like the first thing that was on your mind when you started or give us a little, a background on how you wound up, you know, coming into property management as a track.

Dammian (05:16): Yeah. I had no idea what property management was or what they did at all. When I came to UGA my track when I first got here was pre-med. I was going to be a plastic surgeon and open my own practice in Miami. So that was the goal. And that's what I thought I was going to do. I got into UGA, took a couple classes, your bio, your chemistries, statistics, calculus, things like that. And it was an awful first semester for me. It was not fun at all. And so I ended up having to go back to the drawing table because I kind of realized early on that that's not really what was for me. I wasn't having fun in the curriculum. I wasn't enjoying what I was, you know, studying things like that. And it just kind of felt more like a chore than it should have, you know, like education.

Dammian (06:01): So I had to go back to the drawing table and look at what it was I really wanted to do. And so I thought it over and my second level is always business. And so UGA has a very good business college and they are world renowned and have many programs that are esteemed over the United States. So I was like, you know what? Let's just apply to Terry and get into Terry, you know, get a business degree. So I went into Terry and did business management, which is a very, very, very broad degree. And unless you specialize in it, so then how to think about what do I wanna specialize in business management because you gotta specialize. Everybody told you to specialize. So at the time I was working at a hotel in downtown Athens and there was a guy that kept coming in like regularly every month.

Dammian (06:43): And the company that he was with was paid for his room, paid for his food, paid for everything. And so I got to thinking, I was like, Hey, I wanna travel around the US and have the company pay for it. And me just have to go and, you know, do whatever it is that I need to do on that venture. So I finally asked him what it was that he did. And he told me that he was working with a student developer here in the Athens market and that he was a regional. So he would come down for different business meetings and things like that with developers and so on and so forth. So he was like, Hey, you know, I've seen you around two. I think it would be really good for, you know, the student housing industry and we have a summer internship that's coming open.

Dammian (07:18): So why don't you apply? And you know, I'll put in a good word for you. Mm-Hmm . And so I thought about it and was like, okay, I guess I'll do it. So I did got the summer internship and ever since that summer internship, I have not looked back. I went back to UGA and talked to my advisor and Terry, and she told me about family, consumer science and how they might have a degree that would possibly align with what I wanted to do. And sure enough, when talking to the advisors over at facts, they have a whole degree program laid out her residential property management. And so I ended up switching my degree and that will be the degree that I graduate with from the university of Georgia.

Jonathan (07:55): Awesome. Awesome, awesome story. I love it. Fantastic. What about you, Anna? How did it, how did it jump into your world?

Anna (08:02): Yeah, so I actually applied to UGA as an AG business major because I knew someone in the agricultural kind of department and she encouraged me to apply to AG business because I wanted to actually have my own boutique for mothers and their children. okay. Little cute little clothing boutique. But once I got into UGA, I really thought about it and I'm like, you know, agriculture, not really sure. why I did that. And so I actually switched over to business management in Terry. And even then I took some classes and I was like, you know, this is great. I know this is a fantastic college within the university, but something's missing. I just felt like I needed more focus. Like Dammian said, you're told to specify in something and I'm like, okay, well business is really, really broad.

Anna (08:52): I need something else. And so I went to my advisor and we were just kind of chit-chatting about, you know, life. And she was asking me what my parents did. And I told her that my dad had been managing properties for years and years before I was even born. And she suggested that I look into the housing management and policy major had no idea that was even a thing. Didn't know, people could go to school for property management. And so I took Cheryl Brown's intro to property management class, and I was absolutely hooked. I loved all of the content that we were talking about. She brings in so many guest speakers and I could truly feel the passion for the industry in the room. And they just, all of the industry leaders could really pinpoint their purpose of what they were doing and finding these people homes. And I just loved it. And I, like I said, I was hooked and I have not looked back since I've done a lot of things in the industry, within the school, out of the school. And I'm just, I'm very thankful that I found the major because it is unlike no other,

Mark (10:01): I love that story. I'll tell you, Jonathan, I don't know if you ever heard this in your time in our industry. But I, we used to, when someone would say, I went to school for property management, I literally would scratch my head. I was like, you did like, why? I mean, you can do it without doing all of that. You know, it never dawned on me that you could actually go to school for that. So the fact that you guys stumbled into that why you were in college is, and didn't know about it is not shocking to me. I think that this is a untapped or untalked about resource that once you get in and I promise you, you both have said, you've never looked back once you start your careers and you're in this business, you either know immediately that you're going to fall in love with it and you will be in it forever.

Mark (10:50): And like myself, I, 25 years, I went in and out of property management companies went over into the sales side, worked with Jonathan at a national sales company, selling products. And so your career can go wherever you want it to at this point, like you are educated in a way that you are unstoppable. That's what I love about you guys saying, like, we never looked back. I mean, I did not go to college for property management and I felt the same way. I was like, you know what? I'm never looking back. I fell in love with it because I had a passion for it. But I'm so excited that you guys in some way kind of stumbled on this and you're already in love with the industry. Because for me, I love hearing that story. I could usually tell when I walk into a room, if someone is in love with what they do in our industry. And I, I like secretly wanna say, just get out of it. Like, don't do it anymore. You know? Like, I want them to be happy, you know, and you guys seem very happy with the choices that you've made. And so I'm very excited about watching y'all's careers and your futures.

Jonathan (11:56): Yeah. Thank you.

Anna (11:56): It's funny you say that, that you stumble, we stumbled into it. Yeah. Because a lot of people in the industry now say that they just stumbled into it. And it's just funny. We did stumble into it. It just was during we, were getting a good degree, you know?

Dammian (12:13): It's a different kinda stumbling for us.

Anna (12:14): Right.

Mark (12:15): yeah.

Dammian (12:15): But I guess we're still doing it. We're still doing the stumbling instead of, you know, getting into a career and then stumbling into it. We were in college and stumbled into the major.

Mark (12:23): That's right.

Jonathan (12:24): Yeah. That's so cool. It's like, I, you know, I feel like we need social, like of a TikTok theme song going on in the background here. It's like all this inspirational, happy things happening. It's like, it is, it's so cool. And it's like, especially at your age, it's like, you're trying to, you're trying to define yourself, define your path, sort out, like what what's gonna work for me, you know, and Dammian making a decision right there. You both made decisions. Like I thought here we were and well, wait a minute. I need to, I need to kind of, and go with the flow and just see what's gonna work for me. And so that's, that's awesome. And you mentioned Cheryl Brown, thank you for doing that because yeah, I mean, she's done such an amazing job of bringing in so many guest speakers and her passion for the industry.

Jonathan (13:17): She's been in it a long time. I've learned a lot from her Dr. Debbie and others who are just massive advocates for that career track in property management. And so we appreciate the legwork of those individuals and the impact that they've had on both on our lives and on your lives. So that's, that's cool. So let's kick this one to you for a minute, Anna. So now you've made that pivot you've you're in the property management track. What, how do you say, or what would be some points that you can reflect on that you're like, yeah, this is, this is truly getting me ready for property management. Was there anything in particular that as you were going through the track that it helped build your confidence in that career choice?

Anna (14:09): Yeah, certainly. So I definitely want to start off with, again, mentioning Professor Brown. She, again, like I said, is one in a million. She really prepares all of her students and wants to make sure that they feel comfortable wherever they are and confident in theirselves. So I would not be where I am without her, in all of her classes. But aside from that, just the actual kind of curriculum it covers a lot of the industry. So we have leasing property law, fair housing demographics, and just housing in general and technology in the property management industry. And it really just, it covers a lot. And so I really just have built a foundation for all of the knowledge and all of the different facets of property management. And that is what really makes me feel confident that I can move forward and be able to make those adjustments down the road and pivot, because I know everything from school. Yes, there's a lot to learn from experiences, but by building this foundation just purely academically has really made me feel confident, moving forward.

Jonathan (15:16): Beautiful. Beautiful. What about you, Dammian?

Dammian (15:19): I think for me I mean, of course it, again, it was Professor Brown. She definitely was an idol in both of mine and Anna's careers past, and also our educational past. She's been holding our hand in a sense and leading us down the journey. And so she's definitely one of the main people that has really made me who I am today, but one of the things that she, that kept harping on and harping on in her classes, and it was, they say it every single time was I in Georgia, I in Georgia need to be a student member, need to be a student member. So finally, after taking three of her classes, I was like, let me see what this is and just do it so that I don't have to hear about it anymore. and honestly, I'm so glad that I did because iron Georgia has been a family.

Dammian (16:01): It has been a foundation for me to grow in my career, but not only grow in my career, but also expand my network of people in the industry, not just here in Georgia, but also around the country. I'll never forget. My first iron event was at the Ansley golf course for our economic impact seminar, or that we have every year. And at one point they ask all the students to stand up in the room and I think there were about four or five of us. And so we all stood up and we looked around and everybody's looking at us. And I was like, oh no, . And then they wanted us to introduce ourselves. And I was like, oh, I don't know if I'm ready for that. But of course we did. And then once we got into like our networking and mingling section, every single person in that room came up to me, introduced theirselves, told me the company that they were with.

Dammian (16:45): And by the time I left there, I had three internships, basically. so, I mean, it's just those connections that you make and how inviting everybody is. And you don't have to feel, you know nervous about anything, cause even if you aren't you know, an extrovert like I am, you know, people will come up to you even and introduce themselves. You don't necessarily have to go out and introduce yourself. It's good that you do, but there are so many great people in this industry. And with I Georgia, that it's just really, you know, touch my heart and I really am appreciative of the things that I've gotten to accomplish with them.

Anna (17:18): Yeah. And I do also wanna touch on one thing kind of on the net weaving side. So Professor Brown also does a really great job of bringing in a bunch of guest speakers like we were saying. And so we really got the opportunity while being in school, on campus to meet so many people from various different tracks and learn about their career stories and, you know, build those networks, like I said, and build those relationships. And like I said earlier, you could really feel the passion in the room and they just shared so much and really draw you in and want to do more outside of the organ, outside of the campus and college and join things like IRU. So it's really encouraging to have all of those people there too.

Dammian (18:00): Yeah. And it's not just your, like your leasing consultants and your assistant managers. Like these were like CEOs and presidents of companies and these were vice presidents of operations and regional directors. Like these were big people that took the time outta their day to come to professor Brown's class and talk to us about what it is property management is and what their company does. So those were definitely, definitely good, good classes for sure.

Jonathan (18:25): I love it. That's awesome.

Mark (18:26): I love that. I love hearing that. It's nice to know that we still have some southern hospitality in our industry. And, and look, I always used to joke with people. We used to love to poach people from the restaurant industry or retail because organically or naturally, I guess we assume that you're good at sales or that you're people people. Right? But what I love about our industry is that, like you said, most of those even high level executive people understand what it means to recruit and retain young talent like yourselves, you guys, especially the world has changed, but your generation is looking for that type of relationship. Right? You want to know that you can trust and talk to and be spoken to in a nice way, but that your ideas are seen and heard. And so that makes me feel good. I've spent a lot of time cultivating many relationships in this industry, and it's nice to know that there's still a lot of great people left in it, so that's, that's good. I like that. Absolutely.

Dammian (19:29): Yeah.

Jonathan (19:30): Yeah. Thank you for highlighting the Institute of Real Estate Management. You know, there're a major organization you'll get to know the national apartment association our local one here in Atlanta. If you wind up staying here in the area, another just, it's all part of that growth. And even if you decide to go down certain housing genre type changes, you know, there's stuff for student housing, there's stuff for senior housing there's stuff for affordable housing. So there, our industry is definitely packed with continuing education and education by classes and education by gaining experience by the network that you build and being able to learn from other people. So it's like I said, I think Anna, you said just before we got on we're lifelong learners, we all are even certainly even though Mark called us old.

Anna (20:36): Jonathan seems offended by that one.

Jonathan (20:40): We're still, we're still learning. We're still learning. So that's fantastic. So what you know, let's maybe, Damian would get this from you any, any highlights, any aha moments experiences that, you know, we're, we're just maybe just like, okay, this, this, this is the, the icing and the cake or this solidifies the deal. So to speak anything that you can think of that you'd like to share.

Dammian (21:11): I think for me that like moment where it was like, this is definitely the industry that you should stay in. This is a family that you've built. These people are amazing, both in the industry and outta the industry as a friend was when I had the opportunity to go to the global summit in Las Vegas as the 2021 student scholar for the University of Georgia. And at that event I didn't know what to expect. I didn't really know what the global summit was or what they did there, or, you know, the events that were gonna transpire during my time there. It was Las Vegas. So, you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but no, but for real, the people that I met there and this wasn't just IREM, Georgia, this was IREM Chicago, IREM San Diego, like IREM Dallas, like these were IREM chapters from around the nation that literally were just open arms, like questions, any questions that I had as a student anything that I had in terms of the industry, cause I had had questions about commercial real estate and commercial property management, cause we really don't have a lot of that that I had been exposed to.

Dammian (22:12): So, you know, picking their brains of like, what does it look like? And like with COVID like, what is that looking like for your industry? Cause I know like a lot of big companies are moving outta commercial spaces because they don't need the brick and mortar anymore. And so the amount of knowledge, the networking and the relationships that I've built on that trip really set it and stolen for me and was like, look, this is an industry that I think you're really gonna do pretty good in. And a lot of people have told you that you're built for this and that you have the personality for it. So why not just commit and do it. And so I think that for me was that moment that I was like, yeah, I think this is this. I think this is where I'm gonna be for a while.

Mark (22:50): You know what, Jonathan, it sounds like there's more to that story about Vegas. He says that it was the Vegas trip that really convinced him to stay

Dammian (23:00): I did stay up a little too late gambling, but I didn't know that the bars in Vegas didn't close, they, they opened 24/7. So that was news to me and Athens, they closed sharply and promptly at 2:00 AM. So-

Anna (23:14): We had a good time. Didn't we? Damien? Yeah, we did. Yeah. Learned a lot.

Jonathan (23:18): they wanna keep you at those tables. That's that's part of the Vegas culture for sure. That's awesome. What about you, Anna? Anything that you feel was a moment, a pinnacle point?

Anna (23:31): Certainly. Yes. Well, I will definitely like to second Dammian in saying that just joining IREM in general has been a complete eye-opening experience. Being able to build those meaningful relationships and just see why they're in the industry, what I can learn from them, maybe what I can give to them and really just having that networking community to build off of. I also would like to shout out Deborah Westfall, who has been a complete monumental person in my career. She is a walking ray of sunshine has been such an inspiration to me to kind of keep moving forward. But aside from IREM, I would, I guess my first aha moment was when I took prop or the property management class, Cheryl Brown's first class and I was in her class and I was speaking to other students and I, they didn't really seem to like the material or it didn't really click for them, but it clicked for me.

Anna (24:31): I was loving the material, flying through everything like chit chatting with all of the guest speakers. And so I took a moment back and said, okay, why is this happening? Which I encourage everybody to do that. If you're liking something, ask why.

Jonathan (24:45): Mm-hmm .

New Speaker (24:45): And then move forward. And so, like I said earlier, my dad has been managing properties for forever. And when I was younger, he would sit my brothers and I down and have what we called notebook moments, where he would pull out a yellow pad of notebook paper and draw out what he was doing for the day, whether that would be how property lines are drawn or honestly how a toilet works, like all of that fun stuff. and so he had basically been teaching me about property management, my entire life. And I was like, okay, well I have this knowledge, but why do I like it so much?

Anna (25:24): and so I also got to see my dad build those relationships with his residents. And that's what I really loved about the industry. You are really impacting those people's lives for that specific chapter in their life. And that's what I just found so special. They can drive past a community five years down the road and look at it and say, that is where my daughter took her first steps, or that is where I found out I got this job. And just the fact that I did a small part in making that happen just makes me feel really special and makes me feel like I have purpose in what I'm going to do. And so that was kind of a aha moment for me just asking why. And that's where I really found my passion for the entire industry.

Jonathan (26:13): I love it. So it's incredible. That is, that is really, really cool. And you know yeah, Mark and I, we both can, can second that second, that emotion I've been to plenty of seminars and sessions. And when I first got into the industry, I was very, very much confused. Now, again, I wasn't young, like you guys, I've only been in the industry for about, I think about 15 years now. Hey Mark, around there, somewhere's around there. Maybe you're not as old as me. well, I know you've been in the industry longer than I have, but I didn't start out in property management. I had other, other things going on, but I just, it always was confusing to me how it seemed to in, in, from the, the vantage point of where I was at and who I was talking with, that it was very, everything was very transactional.

Jonathan (27:03): Mm-Hmm , you know, these are assets, these are investments, you know, referring to the, the properties themselves. And I didn't hear a whole lot of some, like some of the things that both of you mentioned, just the, the connection, like this is one of it's in the top five of the biggest decisions that anyone will ever make in their life is where they're gonna live. It's a very personal decision. So being able to connect and understand that it just gives you such an emotional superpower when it comes to working within this industry, because you're dealing with people and you're dealing with all of those, those little moments like you mentioned Anna, so that's just, that's awesome. Yeah.

Mark (27:55): That is really, really awesome. I can relate to both of you, those comments when I got into this industry, I fell in love with it. First of all, for the team that I worked with out on site, you end up building little families with these people, right? We're still friends today. I remember was out on site learning my way, felt like a little, you know, baby deer learning how to use its legs. And they were like, let's join a softball team out in the place where we were. And I was like, yeah. Okay. So we as a team did that. Well, I didn't realize, but it really wasn't about playing the game. It was about the pre-drinks before the game oh, yeah. And so, you know, we lost every game, but I fell in love with these people and realized that we could have fun.

Mark (28:40): Mm-Hmm running a multi-billion dollar business and we could be a part of something so special that you yes, can have fun. You can also be very professional and you can be satisfied knowing that you have helped someone, like you said, Anna, I always say this people will do the first things. The last things, they, they may lose someone in this, this home, but all of the things, the good and the bad happen in your home, and you get to be a part of that. We get to be a part of that. And so it's all what you wanna take away from it. But I have, I loved hearing that because yes, there's so much fun. I think this industry, it is meant to be fun guys. Mm-Hmm and I want you to have as much fun as you can. And I love it because yes, it is a, it is a huge business, but most of the people I think you will find are just, they really want to take care of other people.

Jonathan (29:37): Yeah.

Anna (29:38): Yeah. I certainly agree. A lot of people say that business is business, but specifically in our business, what makes up businesses are people on both sides. And so if you lose sight that this is a people business, you are making people's lives easier, better fun, or more fun. all of that. You really need to focus on that and realize what impact you have.

Jonathan (30:05): Yeah. That's so great. Very good. But this has been awesome. So, you know, thinking of our audience and I think this goes for this goes for, you know, future students Dammain and Anna, they have this next question and it also goes out to all of our other listeners who are looking to make a difference by having internships and helping develop talent. What can they do within their organization? Looking back on your overall experience, any closing thoughts or advice that you would share on both sides of the table? Like those who may be looking to come into this industry as students, and those who are looking to help ones like professor brown and mm-hmm, Dr. Debbie and, you know, anyway long list of people. What would be your advice, maybe Anna, we'll start off with you. What would you say to that?

Anna (31:10): Yeah. So the first thing that kind of comes to my mind is don't be afraid to put yourself out there and truly build meaningful relationships. Mm-Hmm not just meet people, but build those meaningful relationships. So you need to meet up with those people, learn about their lives, genuinely care about their lives, what they're doing, what their jobs are and ask kind of what, where your learning experiences and what advice can you give me? Is there anything that I can help you with and really build those meaningful relationships? And like I said, not just meet them, but follow up every once in a while, check in with those people that you've met and see kind of how things are going. And, you know, an opportunity could come from that and don't be afraid to do that. You, they want to help you as much as you kind of want to build your career.

Anna (32:01): And again, it is not, I don't think it's necessarily about building your career, but building those relationships because our specific industry is so relationships driven. Mm-Hmm . So I think that that is really important. And then also joining property management organizations like IRA and building a community there and seeing kind of how you can continue to learn, because like we've said, you're a lifelong learner and the quicker you learn that the better you will be off . And it's funny because everyone says that every day in property management is different and you have to learn on an ongoing basis to know how to deal with those different days. So continue to learn, build those relationships and mentors find as many mentors as you can, and just see what you can learn from them again, what experiences they've been through and what you can help them with and all of that. So finally, I guess just find your professor brown, find your Debra Westfall and find your doctor, Debbie, find those people who will help open those doors, shine that Ray of sunshine and encourage you to the end of the earth.

Jonathan (33:22): Awesome.

Anna (33:22): That is my takeaways.

Jonathan (33:24): I love fantastic. Fantastic. Dammian, what about you?

Dammian (33:27): Me? I think for me, coming from a student perspective and students looking to get into our industry and, you know, going to college and doing that step, you know, don't be afraid of failure or change. Like when I came into UGA, I thought I wanted to do something and I was always taught when I start something I'm gonna finish it and I have to finish and I have to see it through kind of thing. But when it comes to college and it comes to a major, it's okay to not know what you wanna do, and it's okay to change your major. There's a stigmatism around it saying that, like, you gotta know exactly what you wanna do when you come in and you gotta decide that right. When you come in and that's the only thing that you can do, but really you really find out who you are when you go to college.

Dammian (34:03): I mean, you're spending a lot of time by yourself on your own, you know, living with roommates living on your own kind of thing. So you really get to find out who you are and what you wanna do, cause you don't have mom and dad holding your hand anymore. So they're not telling you to wake up and do your homework and go to class kind of thing. It's, you, you gotta wanna do it. So you really get to find out, like I said, who you are. So just making sure that you take the time to find out what it is you like to do, making sure that the industry that you pick is one that you enjoy. And for property management, I don't know how you couldn't with all the great people that are in it. Like Anna has just mentioned with your Deborah West falls and your Dr.

Dammian (34:41): Debbies and your Professor Browns. But that would be my you know, advice for students you know, coming into the industry or wanting to get into the industry, you know, just taking that time to make sure that it is for you kind of thing. And then when it comes to like our industry side and our industry leaders and our professionals making sure that, you know, they take the time to get to know us. Like we have to, you know, in a sense, get to know them like Anna was saying, but taking that time to like ask us what we like and asking us, you know, like what is it that we see for the future and where do we want to go kind of thing. Cause when you act like you are interested in someone else, then they will become interested in you kind of thing. Mm-Hmm so, I mean it was like analyst saying just using that and making sure that, you know, you go to events for where students are present and things like that. Having mentors, making sure that you are, if you have the time to do it, you know, having a mentoringship opportunity where you have a mentee and you get to lead them through the path of college and internships and postgrad offers, things like that. Those, those would be my my takeaways.

Jonathan (35:46): Solid man, absolutely solid. Thank you both so much beautiful, beautiful comments and a lot of takeaways from, from this show. So thank you so much for being available. it's a privilege to have you on Mark. Let me kick it back to you, bro. Like what are, what were your takeaways from today? Anything you wanna share to kind of summarize today's show?

Mark (36:09): Look you, you know, I'm a talker. Anybody that listens to us knows I love to talk, but the way these two very eloquently finished us out, I don't think you need to hear anything from me. I am so excited about what you, you both will bring to the organization or any organization, but our industry and I loved your advice. I hope that other people, other students, other graduating students are listening. And even if they someone didn't go to college for property management, it is a wonderful, phenomenal industry to get in and get involved in. And there's so much that we can learn from each other. There's so much I can learn from y'all and and gosh, who knows, maybe you can learn something from me. I don't know, but I absolutely will keep my eye on both of you. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

Dammian (37:01): Thank you so much for having us. It has been a pleasure to sit down with you two, and you know, just talk about what it is we do and where we come from and the insight that we've gotten into this industry. And I'm looking for many, many years and it's been meeting great people, just like yourself and Jonathan and the many other people that we've met within this industry.

Anna (37:18): Certainly. Yes, definitely. Wanna say thank you so much to y'all too. And I'm just so grateful to have this opportunity and be able to share kind of what Dammian and I have learned and where we're going, what we're thinking. And it has just been such a pleasure to, again, sit down with you too. It's been amazing. Yeah.

Jonathan (37:35): Wonderful. Very good. Yeah, it's been, it's been awesome. And I love both of yours. Very, very clear focused. It's like there's been nothing ambiguous about this conversation whatsoever. It's been great to hear very decisive decisions when it comes to your career, benefiting from education, you received at UGA using your network in order to further your education. And then the sky is just the limit going forward. You know, the lifelong learning, you know, you just can't beat that mentality. It will always, always, always serve you well, so thank you again. So we usually ask our guests you know, a lot of times the people listening to the show want to connect with you, is it okay if people connect with you on socials, Anna, any, any particular socials on your end that if people want to reach out, they could, they can connect with you on?

Anna (38:26): Of course, yeah. Linkedin, I love LinkedIn on it probably way too much but I love LinkedIn. So just search me up and Anna Gronholm and it'll all have a little banner at the top and it says, keep going, keep growing. And that's that's when you know it's me.

Jonathan (38:43): Love it. Perfect. Perfect. What about you, Dammian?

Dammian (38:46): Yeah, you can find me again on LinkedIn as well. I don't know if I'm as much text savvy with LinkedIn as Anna is, but I do get on there pretty often to see what people are up to. And then I have Instagram as well. People would like to follow me, always love to follows, you know what I'm saying? but it is Dammian_21. So feel free to follow me. And if you have any questions about UGA property management or any of those things of Georgia, feel free to reach out and I'll be sure to answer any questions you have.

Anna (39:14): Yeah. Same for me. If anyone has any questions, I'm here to help as much as I can gonna start paying it back.

Jonathan (39:21): Yeah,

Mark (39:21): That's right.

Jonathan (39:22): That's right. Very good. We'll make sure those are in the show notes too. So you'll have the links ladies and gentlemen, everyone who's listening to this show to be able to connect with them. So thank you everyone for being on this show. Please what an amazing episode, this has been a lot for our industry, a lot of, you know, great takeaways. Great example. So please share this with your network. Please, if you can give us a review on your favorite podcast station on YouTube. We love those thumbs up. We love your feedback, mark and I are always looking for topics and for guests. So please you know, reach out to us Mark, where can people connect with you, man?

Mark (40:06): Yeah, absolutely. So Howl Creative Concepts, Howl was spelled H O W L like howl at the moon, but howlcreativeconcepts.com. I'm also on LinkedIn. Mark Howell my last name is actually H O W E L L. So look me up, tell me if you wanna talk about something on our show or if you just wanna talk, you know, I'm a talker, so yeah, look me up.

Jonathan (40:26): Yeah. You're one of the amazing industry trainers. So please check out his website for any education that you need for your property management company. So thank you everyone until next time. Class dismissed. Take care.

Mark (40:41): Bye guys.

Anna (40:42): Bye.

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