Alumni Profiles: Elam Mangum Freeman '12, Founder and Principal at Ojas Partners
The passions and professions of our alumni represent the lasting impact of our school’s mission statement. Read on to see how Elam Mangum Freeman '12 is using her talents to the fullest to be a positive contributor to society.
Tell us a little bit about your journey since graduating from Ensworth. After Ensworth, I left Nashville for college in Los Angeles. During my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to study for the entire school year in the heart of Washington, D.C. The opportunity to live (and explore!) both coasts laid the framework and turned out to be super instrumental to what I am doing now - Urban Retail Commercial Real Estate Advisory & Brokerage.
How did Ensworth help prepare you for college and beyond? Ensworth puts a strong emphasis on strategic thinking and interpersonal communication skills. While I have not re-read hardly any of the manuscripts and texts that we studied in high school, the analytical skills Ensworth instilled through the Harkness method has served me well through college and into my career.
What are some lessons you have learned in the past year that you will continue to use/apply moving forward? Ensworth taught me the importance of community. High school is one of the most vulnerable times in one’s life as there are new pressures and lots of change, but the emphasis that Ensworth put on culture building and living with integrity (also the name of the house I was in!) has stuck with me to today as I am building the culture for my own company in a reputation-based business.
What advice would you give to a young alum who is interested in a career in Commercial Real Estate? It is easy to be intimidated because there is a specific stereotype of the types of people that work in Commercial Real Estate. Don’t let the fact that you might feel like a minority in commercial real estate (or any industry for that matter) hold you back if you find the subject matter interesting. Furthermore, there are lots of different directions you can take in Commercial Real Estate, so don’t let the fact that math is not your strong suit, for instance, limit you. Most of the principles and concepts can be learned, and anyone with passion for the subject matter and a strong work ethic can have a fruitful career in the field.
Although few people want to continue living under the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, intrepid educators at Ensworth have learned that going back to the way they used to do things is not always the best course of action.
An ever-increasing issue challenging Independent Schools is appropriately managing risk while maintaining the warm and open community that we all value and appreciate. Yet, headline-grabbing crises involving independent schools in recent years have shone a spotlight on the importance of engaging in a robust enterprise risk management (“ERM”) process.
This summer, the activity on the Red Gables Campus has been a bit atypical. Instead of lines of cars, backhoes and forklifts have occupied the hookup lanes. The playground has become a quiet field—a blank canvas awaiting new equipment.