Finance alumni - and brothers - De'On and De'Juan Collins graduated with their bachelor's degrees in 2006. Since graduating, they have gone on to make a name for themselves in the real estate industry. De'On works for HFF, a real estate capital markets firm, as an Associate Director. He specializes in debt and equity placement and raises both debt and equity capital for owners, investors and developers of commercial real estate assets across the country. De'Juan currently serves on the transactions team for Invesco Real Estate (U.S.), where he is mainly responsible for acquiring or developing commercial real estate from the Midwest to the Southeast United States.
Both brothers remain actively involved with the Rawls College, and they recently visited with the Real Estate Organization, as well as multiple finance classes. During their visit, De'On and De'Juan spoke to students about their experiences after graduation and what lessons they have found most beneficial in the working world. Most notably, both brothers stressed the importance of following your passions.
"Many students look for money or notoriety when they enter the workforce," De'On said. "We have found that no one is more successful than those professionals who work hard because they are truly passionate about their jobs."
De'On and De'Juan both have a passion for problem-solving. In their positions, they are often faced with challenges and must be creative to find solutions that will drive revenue and bring positive return on investments. They attribute much of the success they've found to their social skills, persistence and accountability. The brothers believe that these three traits are necessary in order to excel at a job in the real estate industry. Additionally, De'On and De'Juan emphasized that nothing can replace hard work.
"You have to be persistent and get a foothold wherever you can," De'Juan said. "Then work hard to build your experience and do what you can to gain knowledge."
De'On and De'Juan serve as members of Rawls Raiders and are always willing to extend a helping hand to fellow Red Raiders. Throughout their experiences at the college, the brothers received much aid from faculty and alumni, which they now wish to return to current students. At the Rawls College, they learned that people want to help and that you must be willing to help back when possible.
"The relationships we built as students in the Rawls College have been instrumental to our success," the brothers said. "Being at Tech gave us a huge advantage and we want to pay it forward."
To view more photos from De'On and De'Juan's visit, please visit the Rawls College's Flickr account.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.