Real Estate & Finance Alumni (REFA) Mentorship Profiles

REFA Mentees

Finance 

Yonatan_Kintzer_REFAYonatan Kintzer


Class Year: Class of 2019

School: The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with a Minor in Environmental Studies

Career Interest(s): Asset Management, Investment Banking

  1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I am eager to begin making connections and networking with GW Alumni on Wall Street with the REFA program. I want to learn from my mentor’s past work experiences, and create relationships which will provide me with invaluable professional guidance, as I shape my experiences and education to be competitive in the job market. As a Sophomore who has completed coursework in Economics, Statistics, and Accounting, I look forward to participating in the REFA program and gaining an invaluable opportunity to jump start my career in New York. As I plan to work in the financial industry, through this program, I hope to gain an insider perspective of the industry, connect with my mentors, and to secure an internship for next summer.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

I have participated in the DC REFA program and have taken coursework relevant to the financial industry along with gaining experience as a financial consultant during the past year.  I have worked hard to build my business skills that will help me to launch a successful career on Wall Street.

 

John_Mastrandrea_REFAJohn Mastrandrea


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-mastrandrea/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2020

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Science in Finance and Statistics

Career Interest(s): Investment Banking

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

The REFA Mentorship Program is an amazing opportunity, allowing me to capitalize on the skills and knowledge I have gained through academics and experiential learning at GW as well as my experiences outside of GW. Having a solid foundation of financial knowledge and the factors that affect the markets as well as a keen interest in gaining invaluable experience in the financial industry will allow me to contribute in a variety of ways to the program.

As I am extremely interested in gaining experience in the financial services industry, I am highly motivated to take full advantage of the resources available through the REFA Mentorship Program to enhance my knowledge and skills while growing my professional network and potentially having a positive impact in the industry. I am passionate about studying finance and acquiring the skills to become a leader in the field, and am confident that, through an internship on Wall Street, I would acquire the experience and skill set needed to start a successful career and become a valuable asset to the program.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

Participating in the GW Finance and Investments Club and the Wall Street Study Group has provided me with valuable insights into the world of finance and further fueled my passion to study this area. Through the discussions and presentations given at these events, my knowledge base has grown exponentially. Additionally, I have taken courses in economics and statistics, where I learned to model and analyze data, essential skills for many internship roles. My coursework in accounting adds depth to my understanding of how to analyze the function of a business, globalization studies provided me a world perspective on markets and future trends as well as other courses that have contributed to the breadth of knowledge, preparing me for tackling financial analysis.

To further enhance my understanding of finance, I avidly read The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times as well as email publications such as Dealbook and Morning Brew. Recently, I have read multiple books recommended to me by members of FIC, pertaining to finance, and gained valuable insights into many aspects of finance.

Luis_Polanco_REFALuis Polanco


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luisfpolanco/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): BBA: Finance and Business Analytics; Minor: Statistics

Career Interest(s): Investment Banking, Sales and Trading, Actuarial Sciences

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

The REFA program is an incredible importunity to expand my network and learn from professionals in the financial sector. I hope to utilize the resources the program offers to accelerate my learning curve and to interact with as many people as possible in the field I want to pursue. I hope to contribute to the REFA program by sharing my experience on networking with individuals from different backgrounds and countries, and to share my knowledge on the different fields that I learned from my past work experiences.

 

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

The combination of my leadership and professional experiences has prepared me to pursue a career in finance. During my leadership experiences in GWSB, I was able to develop communication skills that will be extremely helpful during the application process. During my past internship at Ficohsa Group, the leading financial institution of Honduras, I was able to acquire strong analytical and time management skills. Finally, readings the news and following the markets has proven to be an essential part of my preparation as it gives me the knowledge needed to understand how the financial field functions.

 

Grant_Smith_REFAGrant Smith


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grantsmithgwu/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting

Career Interest(s): Wealth and Asset Management

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I hope to benefit from the REFA program by connecting with the vast alumni network, current REFA members, and the program’s supervisors to prepare myself for a future internship. By taking advantage of these opportunities, I hope to further develop my understanding of finance and gather crucial skills needed to start a career on Wall Street. As an alum, I want to expand the presence of REFA Mentees and ultimately GW students on Wall Street by giving back to the program in the way current alumni have been.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

 

I have geared my concentrations, finance and accounting, and my minors, economics and statistics, specifically to prepare myself for the competitiveness of Wall Street. My time as a research intern at Di Renzo Realty has furthered my skills of analysis, communication, and time management which I hope to leverage in an internship and ultimately a career in asset management.

Rafael SosaRafael Sosa


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rafael-fernando-sosa-azpurua-28842010a/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Finance and Economics

Career Interest(s): Investment Banking (Latam)

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I was introduced to REFA early on in my college career by my friend Nicholas Groomes. He spoke very highly of REFA and encouraged me to look into it and apply to the program. I believe that REFA is a family that is here to help guide us through this process until eventually securing an Internship. Once we as Mentees have done so it becomes our duty to assist those that come after us as those above us did for us. I plan on using REFA alumni program in order to network with as many people as I can. I plan to do so in a way that expands my network and also elevates the REFA brand. I believe that I will rely on the current seniors greatly in order to learn about their internship experiences.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

From speaking with a number of industry professionals about what it takes to “break into Wall Street,” I learned several things I could do in order to become a suitable candidate. I took as many finance courses as early as possible. During the first semester of my sophomore year, I completed BADM 3501, which is a prerequisite to all upper level finance courses. This allowed me to take Intermediate Finance and Portfolio Management Strategy during the spring semester. I have now completed the majority of the requirements for the Finance concentration with a Minor in Economics. I have focused on maintaining a high GPA while keeping up with the markets and taking advantage of the WSO to better prepare for interviews. Finally, I have sought out relevant internships, networked on my own, and began developing professional contacts in the financial services industry.

 

Alexander_Ward_REFAAlexander Ward


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-ward-b6367510b/

Class Year: Class of 2019

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting and Minor in Psychology

Career Interest(s): Sales and Trading, Asset Management

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I hope to benefit from the REFA Mentorship Program by accumulating knowledge about the financial services industry. I am excited to learn from alumni in the industry who have a high level of understanding in a career path I plan to pursue, and will leverage this privilege to excel in the field of Finance. In terms of contributing, I hope to turn around in the future, and bestow the understanding I personally have acquired in order to help a new aspiring REFA mentee to achieve his or her future goals.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

I believe my additional educational background in both Psychology and Accounting have helped me prepare for my career in Finance. Looking at the industry from a different angle gives me a valuable advantage, as I have accumulated an understanding of significant topics embedded in Finance such as human behavior and in-depth Financial Statement analysis. This alternative perspective, accompanied by my efforts to stay informed on relevant market activities and trends, positions me to be successful in the industry. 


Real Estate

Nicholas_Celani_REFANicholas Celani


LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/nicholascelani

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Accountancy

Career Interest(s): Real Estate Investment Sales, Capital Markets, Development, Acquisitions

  1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

 

I believe the networking opportunities are one of the biggest benefits of participating in the REFA program. I will reach out to as many alumni as I can to learn about different internship opportunities and find the right fit. I hope to contribute by helping other members obtain internships and knowledge that I gain from networking. We will all be learning about the different aspects of real estate and networking, and it will be very important to share what we learn with each other.

 

  1. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

Through my membership in the DC REFA, I have had the opportunity to have two real estate mentors. I have learned a lot about The JBG Companies and a smaller brokerage firm and how they operate. This experience confirmed my interest in real estate, and I am ready to work very hard to obtain an internship. I have also gone through the basics of ARGUS DCF and have been working on advancing my Excel skills.

 

Eric Kanegaye


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericgkanegaye/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance

Career Interest(s): Development and Asset Management, Financial Analysis/Underwriting

  1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I hope to engage in the established and strong real estate community within GW. Through that, I hope to not only secure and develop a strong real estate career and presence for myself, but then pass my knowledge on to the next group of real estate driven students. Another one of my long term goals is to become a resource in the future to the REFA students who want to venture out to the west coast for real estate.

  1. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

This past semester I’ve been conducting numerous informational interviews and reaching out to professionals in the industry. Additionally, I’ve taken an intro course for Argus and multiple Excel classes to advance my modeling skills. My upperclassmen peers have been an unbelievable resource, and Rob Valero has been amazing, setting up informative real estate events. Another helpful step I took that really pointed me in the right direction was participating in the D.C. real estate trek, which gave great insight to multiple functions within the industry. Lastly, reading up on current events as well as books related to real estate has been helpful as well.

Jordan_PopofskyJordan Popofsky


Class Year: Class of 2019

School: The George Washington University, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Career Interest(s): Real Estate Development

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I hope to benefit from the REFA Mentorship Program by building both my knowledge and information base, learning about the real estate industry and its many sectors. I plan on making the most of meetings with both my mentors and the mentors of my fellow participants in order to absorb as much knowledge as possible, while also making connections with both my peers and the alumni that will last. I plan to contribute in the future as an alumni mentor myself, and I hope I can provide the same kind of guidance and insight to a REFA mentee that I know my mentors this year will provide to me.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

As a political science major originally interested in a different career path, over the past year and a half I have become passionate about the real estate world. I have reached out to dozens of professionals within the real estate field, and I have conducted informational interviews with people in multiple sectors of the business, with developers and brokers, as well as more niche professionals. I do not see my non-business school major to be an externality, in fact I see it as an advantage. I think it provides a very different perspective in the field I am pursuing, and I think this difference in thinking can lend an edge.

Andrew_Snelson_REFAAndrew Snelson


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewsnelson1/

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance

Career Interest(s): Real Estate Development, Acquisitions, and Investment

1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

A big point that is made in nearly every conversation I’ve had regarding real estate is that it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Pairing the incredible learning experience REFA provides with the vast and quality alumni network takes care of both knowing and being known. Having a community of likeminded professionals will be an amazing support system that I don’t take for granted. My contribution to the REFA program will be my enthusiasm and creativity. Taking the initiative to organize or push for certain events are not out of my scope of impact. Beyond my undergraduate career, building bridges with students behind me and helping in pulling them up would be a great and meaningful to give back to a program from which I hope to gain so much.

2. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

This past academic year has been an intense learning experience in all things real estate. Whether it be taking an 8-hour pro forma modelling webinar, or working with Ditto Residential to present a lecture on the co-living trend, immersing myself in all things real estate has paid dividends and set me up for future success down the road.

Philip_Yellen_REFAPhillip Yellen


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/phillip-yellen/

Class Year: Class of 2019

School: The George Washington University, School of Business

Graduation Date: May 2019

Degree and Concentration(s): Bachelor of Accountancy

Career Interest(s): Real Estate Investment Sales, Capital Markets, Opportunistic Investing, and Internal Accounting

  1. How do you hope to benefit from and contribute to the REFA Mentorship Program?

I hope to benefit by learning from and becoming close with the peers in my REFA class and competing against them in a friendly manner. I also hope to meet as many professionals as possible to expand my network and learn from industry experts.

  1. What action steps have prepared you to pursue a career in real estate or finance?

I was a member of the DC REFA and discovered my passion for real estate in that program. I have learned from my senior peers about their real estate internship experience and conducted informational interviews with professionals from all different sectors of the industry.


REFA Alumni 

Class of 2018


 

1

Taylor Brimberg

REFA Finance Mentee

2

Jordan Chmara

REFA Finance Mentee

3

Alex Conning

REFA Finance Mentee

1

Nicholas Groomes

REFA Finance Mentee

2

Miles Heady

REFA Finance Mentee

3

Clarke Indek

REFA Finance Mentee

1

Sonia Mansukhani

REFA Finance Mentee

2

Henry Moore

REFA Finance Mentee

3

Nicholas Novarro

REFA Finance Mentee

1

Juan Pablo Poch

REFA Finance Mentee

2

Christopher Capece

REFA Real Estate Mentee

3

Aaron Rothstein

REFA Real Estate Mentee

1

Bhujit Saini

Fowler Student Program Coordinator

2

Bhujit Saini

REFA Real Estate Mentee

3

Jason Silver

REFA Real Estate Mentee

1

Hillary Tran

REFA Finance Mentee

2

Marguerite Wiles

REFA Finance Mentee

3

Nik Venkatasubramanian

REFA Finance Mentee