Ever wonder what really goes on behind-the-scenes of a top coworking space in NYC?
In honor of Women’s Month, we’re bringing you an interview with Workville’s President, Sue Bernstock. She spills it all, including what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur working for all men, in the predominantly male tech and real estate industries.
Q: HOW DID YOU BECOME PRESIDENT OF WORKVILLE?
It was quite the career change! I actually spent my 20’s working in fashion – working in the top buying offices at Saks Fifth Avenue, and then for the vertical retailer Vince during its IPO year. Working in fashion was incredible training; I learned from the industry’s best. At some point though, I noticed how much tech was changing the world, and I wanted to be a part of the change. I took a leap of faith and quit my fashion job.
In order to learn new skills, I accepted consulting jobs in new industries and took a lot of tech-based classes. One serendipitous day I literally wandered into a construction site at 1412 Broadway, 21st Floor.
The guy giving the tour had this really great energy, so I blurted out “I would like to work here!” and said a few quick points proving my credentials. At the time I didn’t realize I was speaking with the co-founder, DJ Dashti. Next thing I knew, I was meeting with his eight business partners. Eight thank you notes later, I was hired!
Q: WORKVILLE IS KNOWN AS THE PREMIER COWORKING SPACE FOR GROWTH STAGE STARTUPS. HOW DID YOU ESTABLISH THIS NICHE?
The niche found us. Growth stage companies thrive in our sunny, modern, chic workspace. They also like our layout which features team offices and plenty of lounge space to spread out.
Founders of our member companies are experienced entrepreneurs. They love the energy of coworking with like-minded thought leaders.
Our central location is an easy commute, so it’s easy for these companies to attract talent and to host clients from all over. Well, we also have the added bonus that we’re a central location with three terraces.
Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH ALL MEN?
It’s a great team – and that’s important. The partners are experts in Real Estate; each one has a diverse set of skills. That means I have a strong support system guiding me to achieve excellence.
DJ, the co-founder, is my biggest advocate. We do see some things differently, and I do attribute some of that to male vs female…especially when it comes to the smaller details like food, presentation, chic signage…
Whether it be a female dominated industry (like fashion) or male-dominated industry, I believe the most important factors are simply “Who is in my corner? How much can I learn? How much can I contribute?”
Q: WHAT IS THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATING EXPERIENCE LIKE?
Exciting! There is this crazy hum of productivity at Workville. You can just feel the energy of people creating all around you. Workville’s coworking space is like being in a spy movie it’s so exciting.
My favorite part of working around so many disruptors and thought leaders is sourcing solutions for them. I strive to stay ahead of their needs, to create a really seamless, forward-thinking experience.
Q: BEST MEMBER STORY?
Oh boy. There are so many small moments each day. I love the day to day laughs with members – we have a lot of great personalities in the workspace.
My favorite thing is introducing members with compatible skills to partner together, and knowing that in any other situation they would never have met. It makes me feel like a proud Mom.
My favorite experience has been watching DropCar scale so quickly – they recently IPO’d! They are a diverse team of dedicated and ridiculously smart disruptors. I am truly in awe of their vehicle support program; what they have accomplished is no small feat. Lampix too. That’s another company that blows me away with their crypto-funded AI hardware and software.
Q: DREAM MEMBER COMPANY?
More of the same! If I could clone our members into 1000 more companies, I would.
We look for professional, friendly, smart, experienced growth stage companies who thrive in the shared office experience.