April 25, 2024

Susan Fine, lawyer and mother who became the founder and CEO of a real estate development firm, continues to mentor Aspire Leaders Program alumni and other young talent worldwide. Her journey as an entrepreneur illustrates confidence and dedication. Mentoring remains important to Fine as she learns just as much from her mentees as she hopes they do from her.

The Leap Into Entrepreneurship

Fine speaks honestly about her journey and how she developed the courage to become an entrepreneur. As a mother to two extraordinary children, she focused on her career as a lawyer to provide for her family. However, she eventually felt she had the resources to take a risk, both financially and emotionally. 

“After a career counselor said to me, ‘You know you have all the skills the boys have. You just haven’t had the courage to do it,’ I said, yeah,” she explained. This moment allowed Fine to have the encouragement and conference to embrace her next step fully.

She understands that much of the world is patriarchal – and many young women may relate to her story. Fine believes Aspire Leaders Program participants will gain more confidence than other young people and develop the skills to become entrepreneurs and leaders. 

Entrepreneurial Successes and Supporting Future Generations

Fine’s courage and determination as she developed Fine Development Partners resulted in many successes, including a retail transformation at Grand Central Station, a complex with 40 stores at Columbus Circle that opened in 2016, and the support of affordable housing units in Southern Queens, New York. She also strongly supports projects led by first-generation university students, both in her real estate development work and as a mentor. 

Fostering Curiosity and Courage as a Mentor

Susan Fine enjoys mentoring others to continue her learning journey and provide inspiration.

“It’s the highlight of my everyday, and I realize just how narrow my life has been,” she said about mentoring. “I learn from the young people I mentor as much as I hope they learn from me.”

She particularly enjoyed speaking with Aspire Leaders Program alumni last year and continuing to follow up with them. During the course of her career and supporting her family, she described getting tunnel vision and focusing on New York specifically. Mentoring a global audience, as well as her students through her role at the African Leadership Academy, allows her to find inspiration and broaden her perspective. She believes strongly that mentoring relationships are mutually beneficial.

“I learn from my students as much as I hope they learn from me,” Fine shared.

Breaking Barriers Through Mentorship

Beyond mentoring, Fine works particularly with Aspire Leaders Program alumni as she feels we are breaking down barriers across cultures and generations. 

Her journey in her career and her passion for mentorship is valuable to Aspire Institute and exemplifies the power of believing in yourself. She will return to speak with Aspire Leaders Program alumni next month, June, 2024, and we are excited to see the relationships they form with each other to make an impact worldwide.


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