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Why Give | Impact stories

First recipient of BentallGreenOak Award in Real Estate looks forward to building a meaningful career

Tommi Redl, a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce in the real estate track at UBC Sauder is honoured to be the first recipient of BentallGreenOak’s new award in real estate.

Tommi Redl

The $5,000 award was created by the global investment and integrated real estate services firm to enable business students to pursue careers in the real estate sector, with preference given to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students of Canada.

For Redl, the award is significant because it is both a recognition of his heritage and a way for him to focus on his aspirations.

“The reason I love real estate is because it combines hard and soft skills,” he says. “It entails analytical work, but I also appreciate that it’s a job that involves relationship building. I plan to pursue a career in real estate because it is progressively becoming a more purpose-driven industry and I want to make a social impact.”

He also proudly identifies as Métis. “My great-great-grandfather was Métis,” notes Redl. “His name was Xavier Letendre Batoche and he was the founder of the town of Batoche where the Battle of Batoche took place. I don’t get to tell many people he also knew the notable Métis leader, Louis Riel!”

Redl adds, “I truly appreciate BentallGreenOak (BGO) for selecting me for this award. It will definitely help me relieve financial pressure that I have been feeling over the past semester. It means I won’t have to search for another source of income so I can put my energy and focus on academics and extra-curriculars.”

Creating pathways for bright, young minds

Alleviating students’ financial pressures makes up only a small part of BGO’s vision for this new award. Mona Khandan, Director of Leasing at BGO, says the award stems from the expansion in their understanding of meritocracy to include factors like diversity of experiences, views, and background as true competitive strengths for excelling in the global marketplace.

Mona Khandan

Mona Khandan

“Scholastic achievement is deeply valued, and so too is a passion for real estate along with new, diverse perspectives and fresh ideas that bring about progress and evolution in the sector,” Khandan says. “We need to be more intentional about creating pathways for bright, young minds to explore a career in this sector.”

Supporting indigenous students

In creating pathways for students, BGO is especially committed to facilitate proportional indigenous representation in the real estate industry where historical representation has been considerably low.

“Our hope is to inspire a new generation of real estate professionals from these communities who will one day chart their own bold direction and add to the vitality of our industry,” says Khandan. She’s thrilled that the firm was able to attract high-caliber candidates from the Métis community such as Tommi Redl.

Enabling UBC students to pursue their goals

BGO’s new award for a UBC Sauder student builds on the firm’s long-standing relationship with the school. BGO is also an active partner in the co-op and internship programs.

BGO Bentall V

BentallGreenOak is a real estate company with a global outlook.

“Through this initiative, we hope to give back to a university that has delivered best-in-class education that equips students with the tools and resources for a successful career in real estate. We can’t wait to follow Tommi Redl’s progress and provide mentorship to him as he forges his future. His future success will be an important example to aspiring young people from Indigenous communities and will hopefully serve as a source of inspiration for future candidates,” says Khandan.

For Redl, he sees it this way: “Studying in this field opens the door to a world of opportunity for a fulfilling and high-quality career with global reach.”