Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Ben Lachman-- Project Manager

When Ben Lachman graduated from California Polytechnic State University with his degree in English, he learned it was difficult to land a job with very little work history. With the assistance of a job counselor at the Anixter Center, Ben began working at the Commerce Clearing House testing web links. "It was a very basic job and not my ideal situation, but it jump-started my motivation-- which is a key thing for a deaf person in a business environment," said Ben.

Ben's next job adventure began as the Director of Marketing for a team of financial advisors at Northwestern Mutual. "It was my job to handle client issues and come up with ways to market the financial advisors. I did an excellent job of coming up with marketing strategies however, the customer service was very time consuming and repetitive and a lot of it was over the phone," Ben explained. As someone with a large amount of ambition, this customer service job was a fine stepping stone to the next level, as it taught Ben the intricacies of salesmanship and building relationships with clients.

Ben moved out west and began working for a small real estate development company but that company went belly up. The owner was arrested several times, and Ben ended up managing one of his restaurants for four months. It was a challenge to communicate with multiple vendors, but Ben was able to adapt to the situation by using his Sidekick phone or through the good old pen and paper from time to time.

Ben is back in Chicago and now works as a Project Manager for Builders of Chicago. He is currently studying for his Real Estate Licensing exam and has plans to become the premier realtor for the Deaf community in Chicago.

Ben has some advice for deaf and hard of hearing individuals who are starting out in careers: "Make a road map - there doesn't have to be a particular destination, but a road map with goals, both large and small, is a very valuable thing to have because it provides you with something to work towards and you wont feel lost and aimless if you have goals."

Ben can be reached at:

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