Nicholas Martinez (’08, ’15) Holds Career Conversation

By: Karen Loya '19, Latina/o/x Student Success Office Intern, 
December 6, 2018

Nicholas Martinez (’08, ’15) presented an insightful and inspiring story on November 16 that engaged all the attendees at his career conversation luncheon, a Latin@s Thrive! series event co-sponsored by the Latina/o/x Student Success Office (LSSO), Latina/o Studies Program (LSP), and Arts & Sciences Career Development.

Martinez completed his major in Government in 2008 with a minor in Latina/o Studies, and a Master of Professional Studies in 2015. He spoke in the Latina/o Studies Program with students, faculty and staff about his humble upbringings in Washington Heights, and the journey to his current work as the Real Estate Development Director of HGI America, Inc. in New York City.

Cornell has played an intricate role in Martinez’s personal and professional development. He recounted how he first became interested in community development—growing up, he always wondered why his neighborhood looked a certain way compared to other “nice” ones close to his home. He recalled putting a picture of his neighborhood on his Cornell undergraduate application, and passionately writing how he wanted to return home and make change.

Flash-forward ten years later, and he is completing his dream. Before working at HGI America Inc., Martinez worked at Citi Group and the Local Initiative Support Corporation. He has sourced and underwritten over $500 million in real estate debt and equity in projects across the United States. His work now focuses on the social impact of real estate development in historically under-served communities. He is in charge of renovating buildings that are not being utilized in underserved neighborhoods to bring opportunity and a positive social impact to the community members there.

If there is one piece of advice Martinez wanted to pass on, it was to meet someone new every single day. He expressed his gratitude for all the people who had guided his educational and career journey, and understands the value of connecting with strangers because of the unknown opportunities they can bring.

LSP and the LSSO would like to thank Nicholas Martinez for sharing his story. We hope to welcome him back soon.

Martinez career conversation