In February, Industrious announced its biggest fundraise to-date: a $200-plus million investment from CBRE.

It’s a milestone investment, one which Myra Cortado, Industrious’ VP of Finance and Head of Corporate Development, has been working on for months. A big part of her role is to put together the high-stakes deals that help grow the company. That growth often translates into more locations and resources for members, who are gaining more than 10 new locations (including our first U.K. locations) to work from as a result of the investment from CBRE.

We sat down with Myra to learn what it’s like to put some of those deals together, her take on the future of the workplace, and how her business school improv troupe informs some of the work she does today.

Tell us about yourself. What brought you to Industrious?

I came to Industrious as a Chief of Staff. One of the reasons I love that job is it’s an intersection of fields that I know, like finance, and areas that I wasn’t as familiar with, like corporate strategy, managing a high-growth workforce, employee engagement, and sales.

Ultimately, it was a role that provided me with a platform to do many different types of things. I’ve now negotiated landlord business deals, served as acting CFO, and worked on our fundraising rounds.

What does your current role of VP of Finance and Head of Corporate Development entail?

Part of what’s so fun about this role is that everything we do is so high stakes. Being at that nexus is tough, but it’s also invigorating. It’s really exciting to have such an impact.

On a day-to-day basis, my role is very deal driven, and my schedule ebbs and flows with those deals. Deals always happen on compressed timelines, so you’re living on adrenaline rushes. For the past four months, all I did was live and eat and breathe CBRE. Prior to that, all I did was live, breathe, and eat fundraising.

Most of the time, it’s great. My background is in investment banking, which is also very deal-driven, so it’s not really a surprise that even in a corporate setting, that’s what I’ve been drawn to.

When I was in business school, I was part of a sketch comedy troupe that would write skits and act in them. I was the choreographer for the actors. Funnily enough, I think that experience has really served me in this role. There’s all this effort that goes into making the final product perfect when you’re putting on a performance, and that’s what working on a deal is like sometimes: You’re working behind the scenes with your team to make this final deliverable. We treat our presentations like a theater performance. Everyone has their role, and everyone is rehearsed, and we try to anticipate every little question.

What was it like to put together Industrious’ $200-plus million investment from CBRE?

I was very proud of the team that accomplished it because we don’t do those types of deals everyday. It’s a very complicated deal that happened quickly, and total credit goes to the team I worked with.

The deal itself is a great win-win scenario for both parties. You always want to make sure everyone feels like they’re winning, because what’s really important is the relationship after, not the deal itself.

What impact do you think the pandemic has had on the future work? And what do you expect to see in the coming months?

I was catching up with a friend today who’s a COO at a high-growth start-up. He’s planning to change a significant portion of his office space to coworking post-pandemic. A third of people he’s hired don’t live in his headquarters city, so he needs a workplace that gives him the option to buy off the shelf, say, an office in Tampa, Florida.

Ernest Hemingway wrote, “Gradually, then suddenly.” I think that’s what will happen with coworking; the pandemic has shown the amount of flexibility people — both members and the managers who handle real estate portfolios for companies — want in their workplace.

What do you love about your Industrious workplace?

I love happy hour because everyone is so friendly. I think the hospitality of our Community Managers and the kindness that they share with everybody is contagious. I often end up talking to a bunch of people at a happy hour that I don’t know and it’s so invigorating. I think people are hungry for that kind of interaction — we haven’t been able to do in-person happy hours during the pandemic — and I’m excited for them to return.

What do you love about what you do?

I love the team I work with. Everyone’s so smart and wants to do the right thing. There are a lot of work cultures that are very star-focused, but we have a very team-based environment and I find it really energizing that we’re all here to solve big problems together.

I’m also super proud to have an all-female Corporate Development team in what’s typically a very male-dominated industry. They rock.

The other aspect that I love is that, because we’re in hospitality, that just translates to everything we do as a company. Even though Corporate Development typically isn’t a service-oriented type of team, that’s the Industrious culture. So we really try to be service-oriented in what we do, whether we’re in negotiations or discussing deals internally.