Name: Alicia Koledin, Assoc. AIA
Title: Founding Principal
Year that you entered your current field? 2006
List up to three CRE organizations that you are currently a member of: Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I think my success can be attributed to literally everyone I’ve met. My family for their advice and unwavering support from the time I was a little kid building houses with Legos. All of my classmates and colleagues for the way they’ve taught, challenged and mentored me throughout my career. My clients for offering me new opportunities for growth every single day. The people in my network who share knowledge and best practices and help facilitate connections. And my husband, who has stood by me, even when my career is demanding and stressful and I’m not being my best self.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
Be flexible and be open to new opportunities. One’s career doesn’t necessarily follow a linear path, and mine certainly didn’t turn out like I had planned. Twenty years ago, I was studying to be an architect, and although I didn’t love being a designer, I still had a passion for architecture. I didn’t know there were other options, outside of the typical licensure path for a professional architect. But I finished my architecture degree, along with a minor in journalism, honed my talent for writing, and eventually found a home in architectural marketing.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Although not technically in the past 12 months, it’s been a little over a year that I started my own business development and marketing consultancy catering to the building industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse firms—in architecture, engineering, construction, and owner’s representation—who all provide unique perspectives and offer particular challenges. Every single day now I find joy in my work, often through exploring a new set of problems that my clients face, and in learning from the experience of helping them work through those issues.
How have your life experiences impacted who you are professionally?
There are certain turning points that definitely changed me. In the summer of 2001, my father passed away suddenly. This was an extremely difficult time for me, as we were close, and I was really dependent on him for worldly advice. I had just moved to NYC from Ohio to start my career, and the city’s turmoil after 9/11 added to the trauma. But losing him taught me an independence and perseverance I probably never would have otherwise. When I took a leap and decided to build my own consultancy, I tried to reach back and capture his entrepreneurial spirit.