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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

First daughter, a close advisor to President Donald J Trump, a strong businesswoman, a successful entrepreneur, an ex-American television personality, fashion designer, a best selling author, real estate scion, lifestyle entrepreneur, a former model – Ivanka Trump is multidimensional. From a very young age, she wanted to be a businesswoman. Along with genuine interest and ability in business, she was very passionate about being in real estate sector. A thorough and excellent negotiator, she has inherited her father's love for building, his deal making skills and is an entrepreneurial savvy.
 
As a person beautifully juggling a lot of roles, her working days spanned across diverse professional responsibilities from construction meetings on the development to design meetings for apparels to acquisition meetings on future acquisitions and so on. After her dad, Donald Trump won the presidency, this strong, efficient, fearless and sharp woman relinquished control of her business ventures to avoid conflict of interests and moved to Washington DC with her husband Jared Kushner who is a senior adviser of the President. 
 
She draws a lot of inspiration from her parents. She admires her mom who was as a hands on parent and highly successful professional pursuing a demanding career working long hours with great energy and enthusiasm. Working closely with her dad, she has learned a lot about business and leadership from him who had the clear vision of what he wants to accomplish for each of his businesses.
 
Early career as a model...
Being born to celebrity parents, Ivanka was thrust into the spotlight since childhood. Following her mom's footsteps, she took up a career in modelling when she was 14. By 16, she travelled a long way. She was featured in Elle magazine and co-hosted Miss Teen USA 1997, showed up in advertisements for Tommy Hilfiger and performed in fashion shows for Versace, Marc Bouwer and Thierry Mugler. 
 
Into the real estate industry... 
When she got admission to The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, and this successful model just gave up modelling and pursued Masters in business administration with a major in finance and real estate and a minor in history and art history. After college, instead of directly moving to an office at Trump Tower to join her family's business empire, Ivanka spent some time working at Forest City Enterprises, Forest City, one of New York’s largest development companies. Working in a firm outside Trump Organisation gave her a sense of confidence about her own abilities.
 
She joined the Trump Organisation in 2005 working alongside with his dad and brothers and has been a powerful voice behind the family empire since then. In 2007, she with her brothers founded the Trump Hotel Collections, a successful luxury hotel management company. She was the lead negotiator for the $200-million conversion of the historic Old Post Office in Washington, DC into a luxury hotel and the $250-million renovation of the iconic Doral Golf Resort in Miami, some of her landmark deals. Before taking leave of absence in 2017, she was the executive VP of acquisitions and development, working on high profile buildings and resorts. 
The Ivanka Trump Collection...
Even when she had her hands full with the Trump Organisation, she wanted to do something just for herself, on her own. She felt a hole in the market for “affordable luxury” lifestyle products as nobody was really focusing on the young professionals and wanted to offer what the professional millennial woman lacks.
 
In 2007, Ivanka partnered with Dynamic Diamond Corp., a diamond vendor and launched a fine jewellery brand under her own name. She subsequently expanded the Ivanka Trump brand to create her own fashion and lifestyle brand including clothing, shoes, handbags, kids' shoes, glasses etc and spread the wings to Canada, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The brand targets young, modern, professional women with workwear being a major staple of her collection. The brand has been creating solution oriented products for the women who handle many roles in life - mother, girlfriend, professional and so on. 
 
In 2014, she started the #WomenWhoWork initiative on her site promoting a mercantile brand that is designed to redefine a stereotypical image of working women. She also posted inspiring articles about career, fashion, and life advice specifically aimed at working women looking to climb the corporate ladder. 
 
Following customer calls for a boycott against retailers that carry Trump products and weak sales many stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Gilt, Burlington etc stopped carrying her fashion line. The brand later pushed up the sales by setting up brick and mortar stores.
 
Writer life...
Ivanka observed that the self help books available in market for a successful business career are written post retirement often reflecting their experiences which is of less relevance today for the young professionals. Just five years out of college, Ivanka published her first book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life, in 2009, which was a New Yorks bestseller. The book walks us through her experiences as a business executive and inspires women on how to get ahead in business. Her second book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success hit the market in 2017, the proceeds of which went to National Urban League and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The book has tips for women to succeed in the workplace quoting anecdotes from her own career.
 
The leadership style...
Ivanka sets very bold goals for herself and her team and expects very high performance. She doesn't micromanage people and give them immense space to bring onboard their best version. Her job is more of a cheerleader to support her team members to achieve the collective goals set out for them and to be a resource to them as they seek to do those things. She takes great effort to set the table for the personal growth of her employees by bringing in guest speakers her people request on a monthly basis, teaching them how to meditate, educating them on proper nutrition, and offering seminars about professional growth, how to engage with colleagues, and how to hone their leadership styles.
 
She tries to go to sleep with a cleared mailbox so that she can start on a clear slate the next day. An early riser, this mom of three who clocks 16 hour days spends Saturday at home with phones switched off.  
 
Other initiatives...
An avid runner, Ivanka is a passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of women and girls. She has ties with various charitable causes, including the New York City Police Foundation and Cookies for Kids' Cancer. She also supports ventures like Chai Lifeline,  United Hatzalah etc. During her speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017, Ivanka highlighted on the need for the creation of a workforce apprentice programs and stressed human trafficking as a key issue.
 
She has been a judge on the American TV show "The Apprentice,"Celebrity Apprentice from 2006 until her father announced to run for president in 2015. She was a supportive, dutiful daughter on the campaign trail for her father. In her father's administration, she is targeting policy areas such as paid family leave, promotion of women in science and female entrepreneurship.
 
Awards and accolades...
Named as #19 in Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women In 2017
Was a guest speaker at a government sponsored conference on women’s empowerment in Tokyo, Japan in November 2017
Named as #33 on Fortune magazine's '40 Under 40' list in 2014
Honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum
Received the Joseph Wharton Award for Young Leadership in 2012
Elected as the board member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds
Quotes...
I learned a long time ago that I can’t control the opinions of others or what they project on me. All I can do is live my life, and I’ve tried to do that.
I'm deeply grateful for all the opportunities afforded to me, but they alone didn't guarantee my success. Curiosity, passion, hard work, and perseverance have enabled me to prove my value to myself and others beyond my surname.
I spend a lot of time building teams at both businesses and thinking about who to hire to supplement the team and allow us to best achieve our goals. Hiring great people is almost the most important thing you can do as a leader because they enable you to scale, and they create better leverage for you and your time.
The way in which you carry yourself, even when seated at a desk, matters.
Prioritization is the key to juggling multiple roles
Hope readers caught up the spark...
 
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