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American First Credit Union Internship

It is perfectly normal for many students to go to college and not be completely sure of which career path they want to get into right after graduation. The beauty in that is, if you are confident enough to take risks, then you can test the waters to start heading in the direction of what you do like. My name is John Ho and I am a fifth year majoring in Business Administration with a double concentration in Finance and Accounting. I am currently the Commercial Real Estate Intern at American First Credit Union.

American First Credit Union is a full service, member-owned credit union that offers banking solutions to individuals and small businesses to help them achieve financial wellness. As an intern in the commercial real estate department, I assist in managing the portfolio of commercial real estate loans with tasks such as analyzing financial information of borrowers and their commercial properties; order and review property site inspections; and maintain strong relationships with borrowers. Overall, I have been exposed to some of the different aspects of commercial real estate lending such as loan origination, portfolio management, underwriting, and legal compliance. It opened my eyes to how vast the field of real estate is beyond selling property. And the funny thing is that looking back a year or two ago, I did not think of doing an internship in real estate.

As a student doing two concentrations in both finance and accounting at Cal State Fullerton, my career choices are endless. I could get into major-specific fields (such as corporate finance or public accounting) or use my degree as leverage to find careers not specifically related to my major. The biggest struggle that I faced was finding the right one for me. As I was applying to many internships, I grew increasingly discouraged as I only got as far as a second round interview. Then, on a whim, I decided to take a shot at an internship posting on Titan Connection: Commercial Real Estate Intern at American First Credit Union. I came into the interview without having any real estate experience or having taken any real estate classes and a week later, I received an offer for the internship.

Moral of the story is that if you are in college and/or in your early 20s, you do not need to have life fully figured out because your plans will always change as you go through life. Be willing to take risks and not be afraid of making mistakes. As Steve Jobs once said,

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

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