June 15, 2022

Manda Burnham: UDC Scholarship Recipient Questionnaire

Manda Burnham: 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 was born and raised in Washington DC.  I am currently a rising senior, graduating class of 2023.  Some of my hobbies would be photography, culinary exploration, and crafting.

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

I am studying finance in school.  I chose this because I would like to expand my financial aptitude as well as use the acquired knowledge to bring awareness and financial literacy to my community.

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

I heard about the SFF scholarship opportunity through an announcement in my finance class.  I attended their information session about the upcoming scholarship and internship opportunities over the semester. 

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

This scholarship help provides me the opportunity to focus solely on my academics instead of having to work a full-time/part-time job during the semester.  It also gives me the chance to get involved in my community and advocate for issues that affect my community and me negatively.

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

Being a recipient of this scholarship not only help me financially afford to continue my education, but it impacts me socially as well.  I have the opportunity to connect with members of the Structured Finance Association and corporate partners.  Expanding my knowledge to the many areas encompassed within the finance industry.

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

I have always been “business savvy” but the pandemic was the driving force that influenced me to go back to school and study business/finance this time around.  I learned at an early age my time is the most valuable resource I have, and I should treat it as such.  This motivates to me be my own boss, to be able to wield my time accordingly.

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

The SFA could conduct speed networking workshops where executives and corporate partners network and provide students the opportunity to practice the power of networking as well as gain insight and advice for the professional road ahead.  During these events, the professionals can review resumes and provide internships and connection opportunities.

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

One of the most interesting things to me about the SFA is its diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative.  Providing opportunities for underrepresented professionals within the structured finance industry.  The SFA also has a woman in securitization (WIS) initiative promoting the development, advancement, and retention of women in the structured finance industry.  As a black woman in finance, it’s amazing to see such dedication, inclusivity, and acceptance from an organization