- Sasha K. Mallet
Degree and date of graduation
Where are you working?
- BBVA Compass in Austin, Texas as a commercial relationship associate
How did you get your job?
- I started with the bank as a commercial underwriting specialist. After a couple of years of hard work, I was promoted to my current position, working as a commercial relationship associate for the Austin market.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
- I love being able to work with clients and work alongside the relationship managers, learning more and more from them every day. I complete various models and cash flows and gather information needed for commercial loan approval. The coolest thing about my job is the amazing team and culture we have, and how well we work together.
How does your job connect back to your coursework?
- Finance classes prepared me for the real work experience of “number crunching,” and the courses for the certificate in Banking prepared me for problem-solving and knowledge of the banking industry. There are so many moving parts in my role, so I am always doing something different. I repeatedly find myself thinking, “Hey, I remember learning this aspect from (insert class)!”
Looking back at your time at FIU, what were the most challenging and most rewarding experiences?
- The most challenging experience I had was juggling my full-time course work, jobs, fraternity life, and extracurricular activities. The most challenging class was an elective class I took for the Student Managed Investment Fund. We worked with a team to analyze and pitch a stock to an advisory board for investment in an endowment fund. I was one of the associate managers on my team for the Industrials Sector, and although it was a lot of hard work, I definitely learned a lot and would recommend the class to anyone who is interested in capital markets.
- The most rewarding experience I had at FIU was being able to graduate with my degree in Finance and a certificate in Banking. My grandfather was a banker in South Miami for a long time and inspired me to become a financial professional. I am so happy to be able to follow in his footsteps and I know he would be proud of me. I am grateful I had the opportunity to experience everything I did. If it weren’t for my work ethic and the friends I made throughout my time at FIU, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What was your favorite class at FIU?
- It is hard to pick just one class, so I will give two. They were both taught by Professor Marcos Kerbel: Commercial Bank Management and Global Private Banking, two courses applied to my certificate in Banking. The way that Professor Kerbel taught the classes really prepared me to be able to begin my career in banking.
What advice would you give to FIU students?
- Get involved–and get an internship while you are still in school. Internships will literally jump-start your career. I did not have the opportunity to do an internship while I was in school because I was so focused on school and other activities at FIU. Looking back, it was a mistake that I don’t want anyone else to make. It would have been more beneficial to cut back my time on a few of the extracurricular activities I was a part of and apply to more internships within my field. Getting real-world experience under your belt while still taking classes is the best way for you to stand out to others when you apply to jobs after college. On top of that, if you work hard at your internship, the company may hire you after you graduate to work for them!
What surprised you the most about your first job?
- What surprised me the most in this job is how well you need to manage your workload. Everything seems to come in waves, so from one day to the next, you can go from having only a couple things to do to staying late the next day to make sure all the work gets done! It has been a great experience so far.
What advice do you have for students beginning the job search process?
- My advice for students beginning the job search process is to really fine-tune your resume and create an impeccable cover letter. The Business Career Management office was a great resource for me when I needed assistance with fine tuning my interview skills and finalizing my resume.
- Also: When you are applying for jobs, do not give up if you do not hear back. I applied to nearly 160 jobs and only got a handful of interviews. I stayed resilient though, and was able to land an amazing opportunity in an amazing city. Stay motivated!