November 14, 2020

Brea Ellis: UDC Scholarship Recipient Questionnaire

Brea Ellis: UDC Scholarship Recipient Questionnaire

Tell us a little about yourself – where did you grow up, what are your hobbies and interests, what year are you in school and/or when did you graduate?

I am a 3rd generation Washingtonian. My favorite pastime is traveling around the world. So far, I have traveled to ten countries and studied two foreign languages. I also enjoy thrift shopping, cooking, and gardening. I am a senior and will graduate in May of 2022.

What are you studying in school and why did you choose that major?

I am majoring in Finance and Business Management with dual concentrations in Marketing and Logistics and International Trade. Initially, I decided to study business management because I wanted to become an entrepreneur. However, after taking a personal finance class and learning about compound interest, I developed a passion for finance and investing. Shortly thereafter I decided to take up a second degree in finance. 

How did you hear/learn about the Structured Finance Foundation scholarship? What about the opportunity seemed interesting to you?

I learned about the Structured Finance Foundation scholarship after attending a Finance open house at my university; my professor encouraged me to apply for the opportunity. The opportunity interested me because I was stressing about how I would be able to finance my studies, as I did not want to pause my matriculation. I was also interested in the scholarship because it would allow me to access events and networking opportunities offered by SFA. 

What does being selected as a recipient of the scholarship mean to you? 

Being selected as a recipient of the scholarship helps me affirm that my professional goals are in reach. Furthermore, it encourages me to continue to strive for academic excellence. 

How will it help you achieve your academic, personal, and career goals, both in the short-term and down the road? 

Regarding my academic goals, the scholarship will help me focus on my studies instead of being burdened with financial stress. Additionally, taking part in events hosted by SFA can help supplement concepts learned in the classroom. 

The scholarship also helps with my personal and career goals by allowing me to graduate without any student debt. Furthermore, as a recipient, I will have the opportunity to connect with members within various aspects of the financial industry to seek advice and gain insight regarding their career journey. By gaining advice and insights I will be able to work towards my long-term goals of obtaining my CFA license.

Where does your interest in finance/structured finance/business stem from?

My interest in business stems from my childhood. Growing up, my dad worked two jobs and had a videography side business. He would have prospective clients come to the home to show them his video portfolio. Seeing him pursue entrepreneurship without a formal education inspired to me to study business. 

My interest stems from finance stems from learning about compound interest. Additionally, after opening a Roth IRA I became more interested in learning how to market works and analyzing financial statements.

What are other ways the partnership between SFA and UDC could be impactful to you and your fellow students? 

In the future, I believe that it would be most impactful to have industry leaders and SFA representatives hold a round table discussion with UDC students. Furthermore, hosting workshops on various finance topics or career paths could help expose students to new concepts outside of the traditional classroom setting. Another suggestion includes, once everything returns to normal, an office field trip or career shadowing hosted by some of the SFA members.

Is there a particular aspect of SFA’s work that is especially appealing to you? 

One of the most appealing aspects of SFA’s work is the Women in Securitization initiative that is striving towards gender equality and retention within the industry. I am glad to know that SFA is working to make the financial industry diverse and inclusive.