Name: Talia Cohen
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
My parents. I grew up watching my dad go from door-to-door selling office supplies. Despite hearing lots of “No’s,” he never became discouraged or negative. My mom, who started off as a house cleaner, worked her way up and started managing the homeowners’ real estate. Eventually, she started her own business. My parents taught me scrappiness, perseverance, and that there is always something in every situation to be optimistic about and appreciate. Words don’t do justice to the sacrifices they’ve made to help me become successful.
Who are some leaders that you admire and why?
Amit Khanna, general counsel of Knotel, is a leader I respect and admire. He encourages his team to own our roles with the freedom to choose our approach and style, while empowering and supporting us quietly, behind the scenes. He’s fostered a truly unique culture of excellence, approachability, and inclusivity by encouraging diversity of opinions, and welcoming us to question orthodoxy if we think there could be a better way to do things. I’m grateful to be on his team, alongside other world class lawyers who I am lucky to call my colleagues and friends.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how has this relationship influenced your professional growth?
I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor than Jessica Spitzer, associate general counsel of Knotel. She’s as sharp (and witty!) as they come, but never sacrifices kindness, or sensibility in how she practices law or communicates, whether with colleagues or counterparts. I’m thankful for her support, and the space she’s given me to find my professional voice, while ensuring that I am elevating my skills and evolving. She’s taught me the importance of maintaining a healthy perspective, and a sense of humor about things. I wouldn’t even be close to the lawyer I am today without her.
What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
I grew up by the beach in Puerto Rico and used to love going to the shore on my own, and spending time just being one with nature. I loved to daydream, often about one day living in New York City, a place I have always felt was magical even as a child. It’s truly a dream come true to not only call this incredible city home, but also to be part of an industry that is growing and innovating the very landscape I used to dream of while looking out into the sea.