From Information Systems to Human Resources: An Accidental Bear Succeeds in Real Estate
By Becca Broaddus
Grace Dadebo, BBA ’12
CBRE Group, Inc.
Grace Dadebo hadn’t dreamed of going to Baylor University. It hadn’t crossed her mind. Born in Ghana, she moved to Canada at five-months-old, and then to Buffalo, New York, in middle school. She lived there through high school. But when her parents found out they’d be moving to Houston, they encouraged her to apply to universities in Texas. As luck would have it, she missed the application deadline for every Texas school she looked up online… except Baylor.
“I ended up visiting Baylor after getting in, and I fell in love with it,” she said. “There’s a reason for it—a reason I missed the other deadlines. Baylor has given me a lot of opportunities to grow and explore. I really enjoyed my time at Baylor.”
At Baylor, Dadebo took advantage of every opportunity to learn. She changed her major twice, starting out in the College of Arts and Sciences before landing in the business school. After some trial-and-error classes, Dadebo decided to major in management information systems (MIS).
“My MIS teacher, Dr. [Hope] Koch, is a really great teacher,” Dadebo said. “I think it was [Dr. Koch] who made me realize I could have this as my major. It struck me that with MIS you can go into a lot of different industries. There’s always a need for those skills. I liked the idea of improving processes by using technology, so MIS intrigued me.”
Like many upperclassmen, the summer between her junior and senior year, Dadebo sought out an internship. Allstate Insurance was on campus recruiting for the first cohort for a leadership development program. She applied for one of their posted internships and got it. She spent the summer in Chicago with the company as a business analyst intern.
As if she wasn’t busy enough with her participation in Student Foundation, the Hankamer Student Organization and professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, among other activities, she decided to add a second major in human resources management (HR) her senior year.
After graduating, she earned a position in the leadership development program at Allstate, a three-year rotational program that gives recent graduates exposure to different aspects of the company while learning leadership skills. But soon after beginning the final year of her rotation in Chicago, she was offered a position with CBRE, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm. She accepted.
“I had never thought about real estate as a career,” Dadebo said. “I’ve had to work on learning a new job, industry and company. It’s been one of the most exciting parts about coming to work here.”
In her current role as the enterprise facilities management program manager within Global Workplace Solutions at CBRE, Dadebo provides facilities management business development support and coordination for pursuits. She also leads the facilities management platform knowledge center activities, which includes the global newsletter, calls and the best practices program.
“My new position with CBRE combines a lot of the skills I gained in previous roles into one role,” she said.
If there’s one factor driving Dadebo’s career path, it’s her love of learning.
“I’m always interested in learning new things,” she said. “Continuing my education is a big goal of mine.”
Baylor Business Review, Fall 2015