Wayne Courreges always wanted to be a U.S. Marine, following in his father's footsteps. He made that dream a reality, serving in the Marine Corps from 2003 until his honorable discharge in 2007 as a Corporal. After leaving the military, Wayne found a new passion – commercial real estate – and started working at CBRE within two weeks.
What are your responsibilities at CBRE?
I am responsible for management, engineering and security operations at 100 Congress in downtown Austin. I work closely with the owners, onsite team and other service lines to execute the building's business plan. My role expanded this year to include providing leadership support and oversight to Austin-area office and retail teams totaling 1.2 million rentable square feet.
How did you end up in the military?
I enlisted during my senior year in high school. I remember my friends stressing about college and what to do with their lives. I was fortunate because I knew the Marine Corps was the next chapter for me. My dad served as a Marine Corps Officer during Vietnam, and I always wanted to serve our country to earn the title of Marine. Our family has served honorably in most of the American wars in history.
Tell us about your military experience.
At signing day, the job category I chose was logistics. Little did I realize, logistics offers a wide spectrum of jobs in the Corps. After infantry school, I served as Marine Integrated Maintenance Management Specialist where I was responsible for ensuring our units were combat ready. I worked to make sure equipment was being repaired and maintained—serving as the middle person between supply and maintenance. My first duty station was 29 Palms in California with 1st Tank Battalion Motor Transport Company. Our company maintained over 90% readiness on average, which was an accomplishment during a time of war and training operations. I was later assigned to Okinawa, Japan, for two years with the 1st Marine Air Wing. I worked with the 1st Stinger Battery (air missile defense) and then was promoted to Headquarters for Marine Air Control Group-18 overseeing their overall readiness levels.
How do your military skills help you in your career at CBRE?
The Marine Corps helped me in many ways both personally and professionally. I took advantage of school while I was on active duty. I went to school six days a week after work to earn my Bachelor of Business Administration degree. The day after I earned my bachelor's degree, I was back to school working on my Master of Arts in Economics. An officer I worked for helped me get back to base for school while we were in the field training exercises in a Humvee. I was very fortunate as this was rare! Taking advantage of school helped get the education required to join CBRE. I learned how to communicate and about the importance of building relationships at all levels in an organization. The values the Marine Corps ingrained in me align very closely to CBRE's RISE values. I have been in three markets with CBRE—Washington, D.C., Houston and Austin. Each was like a duty station, with the ability to move to another market for more growth and new responsibilities. The mindset of the military, where moving is part of life, has helped me with these moves in my career with CBRE.
How have you benefited from the CBRE Military employee network group?
I benefited from meeting and interacting early on in my career with senior executives. The group is very beneficial because we focus on helping each other grow and helping other veterans who may not be part of our company. This year, we participated in a military job fair in Austin to help place veterans in our company and to connect veterans with other opportunities outside our company.
What advice would you give to others who are adjusting to civilian life at CBRE?
Thank you for your service and congratulations on transitioning to CBRE. Learn as much as you can about your business and form relationships with others to learn about theirs. Take advantage of the Rising Professional Organization, CBRE Military and other employee network groups. When serving our clients, we need to build relationships with others in the office to organically grow our business. Listen and watch the CBRE strategy videos. The leadership traits we learned should continue to apply in the civilian life at CBRE. Find your passion within our industry. When you find your passion, working doesn't seem like work. The last piece of advice is to take initiative on learning your boss' job, so you can land the plane when you earn the next promotion.
What inspires you?
I am very goal driven and have spreadsheets that focus on my personal and professional life. (I know it is weird!) In the beginning, it was about reaching goals at an early age whether it was earning my Eagle Scout, becoming a Marine, etc. Now I focus on supporting my family and balancing my work ambitions with being a good husband and father. I want to look back and say I gave back to my community and church. Looking back and being proud of my accomplishments with my family and work is what ultimately inspires me. I am grateful for my wife who handles a lot of the family aspect, while I am focusing on work and school. She is the backbone to our family and inspires me to do better.
Anything else you want to share?
I am grateful for the opportunities CBRE has provided me and the leaders who have supported my career. Several leaders took risks by giving me a lot of responsibility early in my career. I appreciate those opportunities and the mentoring of those leaders. I look forward to continuing my career with CBRE, and helping others grow professionally as well. If I can assist anyone reading this, please do not hesitate to reach out!
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