Kirsten Evans, a finance major graduating this month, shares her experiences at Texas Tech and Rawls College.
With Spring 2022 commencement on the horizon, Rawls College students reflect on their experiences at Rawls College and look ahead to their next chapter as business professionals, influencers and leaders.
Kirsten Evans, originally from Frisco, TX, will be graduating in May 2022 with a bachelor's degree in finance and a concentration in strategic entrepreneurship & innovation.
During her undergraduate career, Evans served as the vice president of operations and ultimately president for the Real Estate Organization. As a highly engaged student, she acquired multiple real estate certificates during this time. She was also active in the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization and Women in Business.
Outside of her academic commitments, she interned with History Maker Homes, working with their accounting and finance team. She also worked with NorthMarq Capital as a loan portfolio associate, working under the assistant vice president of commercial loan servicing.
Why did you choose to major in finance?
My interest in finance was fueled by my participation in DECA in high school. As a competitor in the Entrepreneurship Team Decision-Making event, I learned the importance of financial management to business success. As a degree, I believed finance would give me skills in data analytics, investment strategy and risk allocation that would help me in my personal life and career.
What did you enjoy most about the finance program?
Building relationships with both faculty and professors was the most enjoyable element of my finance degree. The finance wing upstairs is incredibly welcoming to all students and provides a safe environment. Having a connection with my professors helped me excel in the classroom, find internship opportunities, and develop my professionalism. I am grateful for the mentors that the finance program at TTU has given me.
What educational accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my consistent and impressive academic performance. At Texas Tech, I have been named to the President's Honor List (4.0 GPA) for five consecutive semesters. If all goes as planned, I expect to be listed on the President's Honor List for the Spring 2022 semester and I am graduating Summa Cum Laude for my remarkable academic performance.
Another accomplishment I am proud of is representing the TTU Real Estate Organization (REO) as president for two semesters. After the pandemic, it was important that I set a precedent for future members and officers of REO. Additionally, I pride myself on being a woman who is able to lead the organization even though the real estate industry is very male-dominant. As president, I gained valuable skills in relationship management, networking, presenting and information organization.
During your time at Rawls College, who has made the greatest impact on you, and why?
Jared Harrell, associate professor of practice, has impacted me beyond words. Transferring to Texas Tech, I was worried that I would become “just a number” in the student body of 40,000+ people. Harrell, thankfully, provided me with my own, special experience at TTU. From answering my academic questions to discussing career decisions, Harrell has been a cornerstone of my success as a student. Harrell has a profound belief in my leadership abilities, therefore granting me the role of Real Estate Organization president for the past year. I admire his industry knowledge and his commitment to student development. He has a deep passion for real estate and has worked tremendously hard at securing funding for the Real Estate Center at Texas Tech. I am so grateful to have met and worked with Harrel for the past 3 years, as I've made a life-long educator, mentor, and friend.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working as a loan portfolio analyst at NorthMarq Capital in Dallas, Texas. I will specialize in asset management of the Freddie Mac portfolio. My future role entails property due diligence, investment advice, financial analysis, deal underwriting and lender-borrower relationship management. I am so excited about my new role and look forward to my professional development in the years to come.
Why do you love Rawls College?
I love Rawls College because of the resources it provides. To name a few, Rawls College offers career services, writing workshops, mock interviews, guest speakers, informational luncheons, career fairs, job opportunities, resume help, etc. Students at Rawls are given all of the resources to succeed and are surrounded by faculty that prioritize the students and their needs. Additionally, there are extremely generous donors and a strong alumni network that comes from Rawls College, and I look forward to being part of this group when I graduate in May.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are a lot of uncertainties in my life as I transition from a college student to a corporate professional. However, in five years I hope to have a few things accomplished. I will be a manager of a capital market or portfolio management division of a large real estate services firm. Additionally, I will be married (hopefully to an amazing man) and live out my “American dream” of becoming a homeowner. I also plan to have an investment portfolio of both residential and commercial real estate, and, if I am really lucky, I'll be driving my dream car, a Toyota 4Runner!