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Sarah Esserlieu is passionate about urban planning and aiding in the revitalization efforts of cities. As a student, Esserlieu watched her aunt, Lisa Nungesser (who had a successful career in transportation and environment planning), forge a path for women in urban planning. This influence helped stoke the fires of Esserlieu’s budding interest in the field. In fact, Esserlieu counts her aunt as one of her formative mentors.

Esserlieu, a UTSA graduate with a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, has had several mentors throughout her career and feels strongly about having peers to help shape and guide one’s professional Development.

“You have to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses,” said Esserlieu. “It helps to identify the types of things that you want to improve upon as a person and a professional. Find a person who does that really well and reach out to them,” added Esserlieu.

One professional organization to which Esserlieu belongs that fosters such mentorships is CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women).

Cindy Cohn, CCIM and Principal of Springboard Consulting, has been a member of CREW for 22 years and now heads up the organization’s mentorship program.

“We have teachers who teach us math, science and history. Why don’t we have a teacher who teaches us how to advocate for ourselves? CREW gives us women to pattern ourselves after,” said Cohn.

“I don’t want women to be passed over for something because they didn’t know they had to ask for what they want or need,” said Cohn.

BY: JENNY JURICA

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID TERAN

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