HW Works conducts real estate industry roundtable


Amelia Koblentz ’20 and Skyler Calkins ’20 talk to real estate developers and lawyers after their presentation about their transition into their careers and their life in the real estate field at the first HW Works Roundtable of the year Nov. 8. Credit: Tammer Bagdasarian

Tammer Bagdasarian

Three alumni in the Harvard-Westlake Real Estate Network spoke to students about their careers and answered questions Nov. 8 to kick off this year’s Harvard-Westlake Works Industry Roundtable series.
The event featured real estate developers Casey Federman ’91 and Sara Kramer ’99, as well as real estate lawyer David Stone ’97.
The panelists spoke about their careers in the real estate industry and how they first became interested in working in the field.
“I got an internship at a transactional real estate firm because my dad told me to, and I just loved everything about it,” Stone said. “I met interesting people, and I got to see what I worked on when it was done, so it was actually tangible, and that just drew me in.”
The three speakers also gave advice about how students can make the most of their high school experiences and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them.
Federman said he was able to learn who he was, as well as important skills such as hard work, commitment and teamwork while he was at Harvard-Westlake.
The panelists also addressed the importance of students stepping outside of their comfort zones and trying new things, even when it is not the safest option during the presentation.
Kramer spoke to students about her personal experiences working in the real estate industry.
“When I was in business school, we had to write a paper on a professional failure we’d had, and that got me thinking that I had never taken any real risks,” Kramer said. “That led me down a path where I decided to quit my job that I was comfortable at and look for a new one, which was risky but definitely beneficial.”
Amelia Koblentz ’20 moderated the panel and said she thought that the real estate roundtable was very informative and gave great insight into the industry.
“I think through today’s discussion, I was able to get a deeper understanding of real estate and the different opportunities within the business,” Koblentz said.
Harvard-Westlake Works Administrator Zaakirah Daniels ’10 organized the event in order to expose students to a new industry because it is often overlooked. She said she thought it succeeded in doing so.
“Not many students think about real estate when they come to me for help about finding something to do over the summer, so I thought it would be a good idea to include our alumni real estate network in this series,” Daniels said.