Phuoc graduated from CSULB in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. Phuoc is driven by hard work and dedication, which helped him land a job when the unemployment rate was twice as high as it is now. He strongly feels the skills that he gained in business courses and campus career resources were essential to his job search. Phuoc loves connecting with other Beach graduates at alumni events.
AA: Tell us a little about yourself
Phuoc: I graduated with a degree in Business Marketing in 2010, a year when the rate of unemployment was more than twice what it is now. Fortunately, I was able to find a job in Commercial Banking by the time I graduated in June of 2010. I believe that the resources available at the career center helped me tremendously in my job search. Additionally, the skills I gained from the business courses I took prepared me for the job interview process. Now I’ve worked in the finance industry for 6.5 years. I intend to apply to Graduate school this year and hope to complete an MBA in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate.
AA: What are you doing professionally?
Phuoc: Currently, I work as a Senior Credit Analyst for Mutual of Omaha Bank. Our group does primarily commercial real estate lending (Multifamily, Industrial, Student housing, Retail properties). In the Southern California market, there is a shortage of housing. In other words, demand for housing exceeds supply. In response, many developers are constructing apartments. Our Bank finances many of these construction projects. In such a deal, the Analyst’s job is to perform the risk analysis - we have to understand the market (supply VS demand), the demographics of the area, the affordability of the proposed project VS the current income level, and many other things.
AA: What steps did you take to land your current position?
Phuoc: Prior to my current job, I worked as an analyst at Disney. I had no commercial real estate experience, yet my boss decided to hire me. There were many reasons for this:
- Many of the skills that I had then, including analytical thinking skills, transfer over to the current job
- I had taken credit analysis courses at UCLA Extension
- I did research on the Commercial Real Estate industry before the interview so that I was prepared.
AA: Did you envision doing this kind of work while you were an undergrad?
Phuoc: No, not at all. I went into engineering because I loved cars and wanted to work in the automotive industry. While in need for an internship, a classmate at CSULB had a drafting position opening for a consulting engineering firm and I jumped at the job. From that internship, I was exposed to an industry I did not know existed. Things fell into place from there.
AA: Why did you join the Alumni Association?
Phuoc: I joined the Alumni Association to stay connected to the CSULB community.
AA: With a busy schedule how do you manage to stay engaged with your alma mater?
Phuoc: I manage to stay engaged with CSULB by going to alumni networking events.
AA: Any advice for students and fellow graduates interested in pursuing a career in your field?
- Hard Work and Dedication.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities that will help you to develop skills that will be useful in your career. For example, join a Toastmasters club to develop Public Speaking Skills.
- If you’d like to break into an industry, take extension courses offered at universities. You will gain some of the technical knowledge that will help in the interview. Secondly, there are many professionals in the industry who are taking these courses as well. Networking with these professionals may lead to opportunities.