In February, Urban Alliance held a “Leaders Like Me” discussion about how to build a career in real estate with guest speaker Jair Lynch, President and CEO of Jair Lynch Partners. Leaders Like Me is a virtual student-led speaker series with interns and mentors from Urban Alliance regions in Greater DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit. Urban Alliance launched Leaders Like Me in 2020, and the interview with Jair is the first episode of the third season. Students have the opportunity to ask national leaders questions and get career advice.
Jair shared how he, like some of the current Urban Alliance students, also grew up in Washington, DC. Jair learned from his parents the value and importance of education, excellence, and giving back to the community. Jayla Cole, a student intern at Urban Alliance in the Detroit region moderated the Leaders Like Me conversation. Jayla interns at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) through Urban Alliance’s High School Internship Program (HSIP) and is a senior at Cass Technical High School. Jayla starts the interview by asking Jair what influenced his career path.
Jayla: What led you to your decision to go into real estate?
Jair: “I originally attended the University of Stanford in California aimed at becoming a doctor but then discovered my passion for civil design and real estate, which led me to study civil engineering and urban design. I was also inspired by the 1989 Bay Area earthquake to learn how to mend and grow broken communities, especially in the DC area.”
Jayla: What critical skills does one need to advance in a career like yours?
Jair: “A commitment to excellence, diversity, and teamwork. Discipline and curiosity are also very valuable in a career and helps create competitive advancement.”
After discussing the skills and or mindset required to excel in the real estate world, Jayla directed the conversation toward the emotional and mental side of the real estate industry.
Jayla: What was your toughest lesson learned when getting into the business?
Jair: “Disappointment is not easy to handle, but recovery is important. Muhammad Ali is not the champion because of the punches that he made at the top but when he was knocked down and got back up. Be humble enough to learn from mistakes and be better.”
Throughout the discussion, Urban Alliance interns were enlightened about a career in real estate and heard firsthand from Jair, an industry professional that they may admire or strive to be like. Some of the key takeaways highlighted the dedication, creativity, and patience that go into owning a company.
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This post was written by Naomi Kyei-Asare, a 2023 Urban Alliance High School Internship Program participant.
Naomi Kyei-Asare attends Paint Branch High School in Montgomery, County, Maryland.