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Saint Mary’s students awarded opportunities at Fannie Mae

| Thursday, January 24, 2019

Three Saint Mary’s students embarked on a trip to learn about mortgages and affordable American housing with Fannie Mae during a four-day trip to Washington, D.C.

Juniors Grace Hillman, Anna Mason and Mary Wandor traveled to the nation’s capital during winter break to participate in an externship established by Saint Mary’s alumna Renee Schultz. Editor’s Note: Anna Mason is the Associate Photo Editor at The Observer.

As the senior vice president of capital markets at Fannie Mae, Schultz felt like she could give back to the community that helped her reach her goals by creating an opportunity for women to gain experience in the capital markets, as stated in a College press release.

“The externship takes place over the winter or spring break and is fully funded by Saint Mary’s alumna Renee Schultz ’92,” director of the Career Crossings Office Stacie Jeffirs said in an email. “Fannie Mae serves the people who house America. They are the leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets at all times. Their financing makes sustainable homeownership and workforce rental housing a reality for millions of Americans.”

What began as an opportunity to network with women leaders in the mortgage industry has evolved to include a “summer internship program with the goal of Saint Mary’s interns receiving offers for full-time positions for after graduation,” Jeffirs said.

Keeping with Schultz’s goal of encouraging female representation in the capital markets industry, Wandor said students interacted with many women in leadership positions.

“We met a lot of executive women, which was really important to Renee, for us to see that there are a lot of women that are higher up at the company,” Wandor said. “We got to do a lot of that. It was really cool because I got to see what various people did in the company, especially with what I’ll be doing, too.”

As an economics and engineering double major, Wandor said she found the externship to be enlightening and is looking forward to her summer internship with Fannie Mae’s economics team.

“It was something very different to anything I’ve ever done. I had so much information thrown at me at once, but I loved it,” she said. “The whole experience, every second was just something new and exciting.”

Hillman is a business administration major who will be interning with the company’s balance management unit this summer. She said the externship was not only a great way to make connections, but also a chance to learn more about Fannie Mae.

“It was a good trip just to see more of the mission of Fannie Mae, too,” Hillman said. “Their mission is to provide affordable housing to America, and I think that’s a really commendable thing to do.”

Hillman said the externship was an inspiring experience that was relevant to the future in a financial institution she sees for herself.

“There are a lot of good role models at Fannie Mae,” she said. “It’s staggering how many women leaders they have on their executive team and stuff. It’s something to work for.”

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she isn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

Contact Maria