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Central Washington University alumnus and Sammamish resident Derek Doke graduated from college over two decades ago and has spent his time since then establishing himself in the real estate business.

In addition to being executive vice president of management services at NAI Puget Sound Properties, Doke is a coach and podcast host, running "Real Estate Investment Insights," which can be found on all major platforms. He spends much of his free time with his family, and enjoys traveling—both around the state and internationally.

Doke didn’t always know he wanted to work in real estate. When he graduated from college in 1989 after attending CWU’s extension program, Doke was first employed as an accountant. He took night classes while finishing his degree, recalling that part of what made his time there so valuable was that “the professors were all able to talk about real life experiences.”

While working as a tax accountant, Doke developed an interest in real estate after seeing that most of his clients were creating their wealth through real estate.

Changing career directions for him meant a lot of research, networking, and listening.

“I just started talking to people that I came across and met going to networking events,” Doke said. “You can look at the alumni list of Central and see people in your profession, and most of us are more than happy to talk about what we do. That’s what I did. And listen. Do a lot of listening.”

When asked if he had any advice to share with current Wildcats, Doke said, “What you do in your twenties might not be what you end up doing as a career. Don’t get discouraged if you get into a career that you’re not happy with. Get what you need out of it and then find the path to something you enjoy.”


August 2021

Story by: Kathleen Singleton