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5 Questions with Sarah Swanson: From Project Management to Microbrews

“5 Questions” is our way of turning the spotlight on our talented and accomplished employees in the Boston office who make stellar contributions both at work and on their own time. We’ll be running this feature as a recurring series and look forward to sharing our team’s talent with the community.

It’s never easy being the guinea pig but Sarah Swanson, project manager on Cushman & Wakefield’s Project & Development Services team, is used to taking initiative and she’ll be our inaugural subject.

After graduating from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, Sarah worked for years in the Atlanta area. But six years ago, she moved to Boston and since joining Cushman & Wakefield just less than a year ago, we’re all better for her decision.

Even though she’s busy planning for a wedding, Sarah took the time to give us a little insight into her personality and what makes her tick personally and professionally.

What do you like most about your job?

Have you ever seen a client’s reaction when they witness the transformation of their outdated office space to a bright, fun, new, collaborative working environment? I have, and that is by far the best and most rewarding part of my job. But I also love our amazing team here at Cushman & Wakefield that gets to be out on project sites watching the day-to-day progress of these projects we’re all so invested in.

When you’re not working, where are you and what are you doing?

If the weather cooperates, I’m outside hopefully playing golf. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing as long as the weather is warm and the sun is shining. But if I have to be inside (or if it’s another long Boston winter), I also love checking out local craft breweries with my fiancé and friends. Boston is a spectacular place for that because there have been so many popping up. But at the moment, you’ll probably find me in the throes of wedding planning – the one-year countdown has officially begun!

What does CRE in Boston look like five years from now?

It’s hard to imagine any more space being developed in and around the city but someone always finds the next hot location. I have noticed companies moving out to the suburbs – particularly Burlington and Waltham – so I’m confident development will continue to cluster there. But I believe we’ll see a lot of movement farther from Boston because of the talk of high-speed rail from Springfield and all the revitalization happening in Worcester. While Boston will always be the main hot spot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see companies opening offices more toward the central/western part of the state.

What’s the professional accomplishment you’re most proud of?

Being selected to the inaugural CoreNet Young Leaders program has been a career highlight. It was the 2015 inaugural class with a ton of applicants, so I was really honored to be one of 12 people selected. It allowed me to meet monthly with various real estate and business leaders in Boston and pick their brains about my career path, career development in general, and the future of CRE. It was a unique chance to meet with landlords, tenants, financial experts, and real estate professionals and I really built up my network. We actually still keep in touch and bounce questions off each other and help one another with work and life.

What’s your favorite spot in all of Boston?

I love being anywhere along the water – especially the Harbor and the Charles River. That represents quintessential Boston for me, especially running down the Esplanade next to the Charles and looking at the Citgo sign by Fenway.

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