New Member Spotlight - Jathina Eby

Thursday, Jul 21, 2022

Jathina Eby

Jathina Eby is a Workplace Services Specialist at Enerplus Corporation, an independent North American exploration and production company focused on developing high-quality assets through a disciplined, returns-based capital program. Born and raised in Calgary, she has built her career at Enerplus over the last 15 years and continues to grow in the industry. We are so pleased to welcome Jathina as a new CREW Calgary member this year! Get to know Jathina below.

As a new CREW Calgary member, what drew you to join, and can you share a few things you are looking to gain being a part of this network?

My role at Enerplus touches on aspects of commercial real estate quite frequently and I’ve learned that I really enjoy that part of my job. As I continue to progress through my career, I wanted to get involved with a network that would allow me to continue to learn more about the industry and so I had a few CREW champions around me who suggested the CREW Calgary chapter as the membership to pursue. My focus as a new member is to gain knowledge about commercial real estate by networking, making new connections and learning from those in different sectors of the industry.

Can you tell us more about your role and what it’s like to work for Enerplus?

When I was first starting my career, oil and gas was the priority for me. I knew I had to get my foot in the door and so I started at Enerplus in the mailroom as an administrator and then built my career from within. As I grew up with the company, I developed my skills and learned as much as I could to ultimately land in the Corporate Properties Group and Workplace Services team. Now as a Workplace Services Specialist, I manage the lease administration of our Calgary sublease portfolio, which consists of ~15 subtenants, along with the lease administration and workforce planning for our two head offices and additional offices across North America. At our Calgary head office, we became sublandlords by nature due to the volatility of the oil and gas industry, but it really gave us the opportunity to do some creative thinking about our office space which in turn provided me with many more opportunities than I ever expected. The industry comes with its pros and cons, but in my 15 years at Enerplus, I can confidently say that the way they treat their employees and the culture within our company have always outweighed any cons of the industry.

Were there any big moments that monumentally shifted the trajectory of your career and what helped you not only recognize but capitalize on this insight?

I’ve had two significant moments in my career that stand out and helped to spark my interest and desire to pursue a more commercial real estate focused role within Enerplus. The first one being our subleasing efforts in Calgary, which acted almost as a case study and helped propel me towards the second big moment. In 2015, our office space was quite outdated and not space we were proud to show to clients. However, this happened to draw investors to our company since they saw that we weren’t frivolous with the way we spent money on our space. We had some lease obligations to meet by 2019 regarding upgrading our space and with a portion of our office space coming available for sublease, we took that as an opportunity to thoughtfully renovate office spaces in a way that would attract subtenants and provide good value to both them and our investors. In turn, we successfully subleased ~75% of the available space. This demonstrated to our management and investors that we could then further succeed in renovating our own office space and the importance of that to our employees.

Following this and as a second big moment in my career, a very small team (two of us) then took on the project management of our office renovation. At the time, I didn’t know much about construction, renovations, or major project management so it was a huge learning experience for me. It was such a rewarding experience for me that really kickstarted my passion for project management and further interest in commercial real estate. I’ve started working towards getting my Real Property Administrator (RPA) Designation so that I can continue developing my skills while getting valuable education related to the work that I love.

What was the best thing you did to help get through the pandemic, and has it stuck with you since?

I feel quite fortunate to not really notice a big change in my personal life due to the pandemic. Of course, I missed the social aspects of my regular pre-pandemic life, but I’ve become really thankful for the opportunity to slow down that Covid provided me with. My husband and I took advantage of the opportunity to pause, reflect and re-evaluate what our priorities were for ourselves as individuals and for our household. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle mentality of our daily lives and the pandemic forced us all to slam on the breaks for a bit. In discovering small moments of clarity along the way, we reprioritized and focused on some fun projects for ourselves. One of our most exciting “Covid projects” was that my husband and I renovated a camping trailer! We really enjoy camping but hadn’t been out for a few years, so we purchased an old trailer and totally renovated it on our own. It was a lot more work than we expected, but we got to make it our own and had a lot of fun along the way.

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations?

I’m a huge fan of true crime podcasts – some cases are harder than others to listen to, but I’ve found that they can be really insightful and interesting as well. In terms of a book recommendation, one of my favourites is “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. It’s become an annual read for me since it’s a quick, easy read but it’s a good reminder to pause and reflect. Each time I read through, it reminds me to ask myself “why is this important to me?” so that I can re-evaluate and make sure that my energy and time are being spent on the things that matter to me.