The Value of Alumni Mentors: DC Real Estate & Finance Alliance (REFA) Sophomore Mentoring Program


By Clarke Indek / BS in Economics & Finance / May 2018 (Anticipated)

When I originally applied last fall to the DC Real Estate & Finance Alliance (REFA) Sophomore Mentoring Program, I did not know exactly into what I was getting myself.  I had come to the conclusion beforehand that I wanted to pursue some form of career in finance, however, in all honesty, I did not have any idea what such a career might entail.  In short, the DC REFA Mentoring Program showed me exactly what a career in finance might look like. I had no idea that there were so many different careers within the financial services industry.  

As a rising sophomore, there was no way that I could have truly learned the nuances of so many different careers in finance without getting out into the world and talking with people who work in the industry every single day.  In the DC REFA Program, this process begins with the mentors.  The specialties of my mentors ranged from hedge fund management to corporate finance, but both mentors were extremely knowledgeable about all facets of the finance industry.  There is so much that can be learned from the mentors alone, that a few conversations with them felt as though I had only scratched the surface. The amount of diverse people to whom I was introduced as a result of my relationship with my mentors benefitted me beyond just the information that I had received.  With every conversation, I learned through real experience how to network and connect with industry professionals with whom I had little in common besides my interest in finance.  

If I were to provide advice for anyone considering the REFA Mentoring Program, it would be to never limit your interest to one single career path.  Although I still have not had much of my own work experience up to this point, I do know that I have yet to meet anyone in finance or any other field who chose a career during their sophomore year of college and never deviated from it.  This is a program that will prove invaluable for any sophomore whose goal is to explore finance and/or real estate and prepare themselves for their first real internship.

Are you a sophomore interested in applying to the DC REFA Mentoring Program? The application deadline is Friday, September 16, and the application requirements are listed in Job #851499 in GWork or GWorkSB.

Interested students should also register to attend one of the Information Sessions: Wednesday, September 7, 6-7 pm, or Friday, September 9, 3-4 pm (both in Marvin Center 538).  RSVP for an info session.




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