People of SRP: Alexandria Colemanby SRP on September 1, 2023
Get to Know: Alexandria Coleman, Fearlessly Aiming High
Property Administrator, Cushman & Wakefield
There’s something inspiring about meeting a person in the earlier years of her career who makes you think, “That person is going places.” Alexandria Coleman is such a person. She’s got that combination of raw talent, the drive to learn and grow, clarity about where she wants to go and the ability to see the steps to get there—and the courage to go after what she wants.
As a kid growing up in the Bay Area, she would go to her beloved aunt’s house for family events and gatherings. Her aunt had a talent for whipping up delicious and impressive meals at home, all while making it feel like a special event and look easy. As she enjoyed her aunt’s food, Alexandria was also observing this consummate entertainer in action.
When it was time for college, the choice was clear: She would attend the Arts Institute for Culinary Arts in Sunnyvale. Upon graduation—armed with technical and scientific knowledge layered onto her love of cooking—she took her talents to Google, where she worked in the kitchen, making that famous bounty of food served in the employee cafes. Alexandria enjoys toggling between left-brain and right-brain thinking, which she seems to do so seamlessly. After five years in the kitchen nurturing her creative side, she craved a chance to hone her organizational skills. She accepted a receptionist role at Google.
Alexandria is the first to tell you that she thrives in a fast-paced environment. The pandemic slowed down her work—and exposed her to a reality she could no longer deny: She hungered for work that gave her more responsibility and better matched her dreams and desires. She’d long since had a desire to work in event planning. She signed up for two online classes to gain new skills and make herself the best candidate possible. And then she went for it.
Today, Alexandria has realized a dream in the works since she was a child watching her aunt entertain. As a Property Administrator at Cushman & Wakefield, she works out of The Hub at Stanford Research Park and is an essential member of the events team. Since starting this role in May 2023, Alexandria has hit the ground running. She’s helped elevate events—like SRP’s 70th anniversary celebrations, Lunch & Learns, and more—through both her creative ideas and project management skills. Come to one of The Hub’s events, and you will likely see her—natural extrovert that she is—greeting guests and sometimes on the mic MC-ing events.
Did we mention Alexandria loves a fast pace and full schedule? When in season, most every day after work, she coaches a Pop Warner cheer team of seven to nine year olds. This volunteer position is a serious commitment—but one Alexandria loves. She cheered when she was a kid, and she derives great joy from teaching kids technical knowledge and self-confidence. Also, the kids are adorable, so there’s that.
We’re excited for you to get to know Alexandria Coleman, yet another person who makes Stanford Research Park a unique and special place.
What inspired you to pursue your field of work?
All our family events were always at my aunt’s house, and I was always in the kitchen helping her with the cooking. By high school, I knew that I wanted to go to culinary school. Cooking is my passion. But I also always loved the event aspect that came with cooking for others. I knew event planning was something I eventually wanted to do. Working in the kitchens at Google opened that door for me. I knew that work could help get me to the event side eventually.
I love planning events! I get to meet so many people. I get to know vendors. The Hub puts me at the literal hub of SRP, so I get to meet all kinds of people who work in The Research Park and who attend our events.
Alexandria Coleman, Property Administrator, Cushman & Wakefield
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love planning events! I get to meet so many people. I get to know vendors. The Hub puts me at the literal hub of SRP, so I get to meet all kinds of people who work in The Research Park and who attend our events. I would say the most gratifying experience is becoming more professional and growing in my role.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Not giving up. In my last position, I felt that I wasn't doing enough or stretching in my day to day. I knew I could handle more responsibility. I love to be busy and multitask. I wanted more. I’m proud of putting myself through two courses offered through Google Coursera platform. They pushed me to learn new skills and led me here to my role at Cushman & Wakefield, where I’ve been able to keep pursuing more and keep growing.
What city do you consider your hometown?
Both of my parents grew up in East Palo Alto, and I was raised there, too. Even though I don’t live there anymore, many of my family still reside there. I am home almost every day to visit family.
What's the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from a company right here in The Research Park. I interviewed with them, prior to learning about what is now my role at Cushman & Wakefield, and I did not get the position. I asked them what I could have done better. And their response was, “You did everything right. We think you are overqualified. In fact, we think you just need to apply for a higher role.”
The thing is, I knew I was ready for a higher role than this one I interviewed for, but I still doubted myself. And learning that the people I met at this company also saw that I was ready gave me the confidence to say, OK, Alex, you are ready. You got this. Go find a higher position, and go for it.
And then I was hired here! I am enjoying the journey and loving my new job planning events at The Hub.