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July alumni of the Month

Johnny Sears - MBA International Business, 2013

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Why did you choose to study at UEL?
I felt underutilized at work and wanted to advance my career. My parents are from Essex, and my father attended UEL when it was East London Polytechnic, so I looked into a Business Degree from UEL.

What is your one special memory of your time at UEL?
Besides the sausage rolls from the vending machine, I particularly enjoyed getting to know the other students in my dorm. I made lifelong friends in the halls and shared lots of late-night laughs.

What have you done since graduating from UEL?
I have continued my work in banking and commercial real estate (CRE) since graduating at Walker & Dunlop, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and I now for Sims Mortgage Funding, Inc.

What is your current job role? And what does it involve?
I originate and underwrite Healthcare, Hospital and Multifamily loans insured by the HUD. We provide loans for the acquisition, refinance, sub-rehab and new construction of CRE facilities nationwide.

How did UEL help you get to where you are now?
UEL gave me the opportunity to focus on areas of my knowledge base that required improvement. The diversity at UEL gave me real life experience in working with people from different cultures.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Get involved in as many organisations inside and outside of school as you can. Success depends on relationships and capabilities. Focus on meeting as many important people as you can.

What advice would you give to UEL current students preparing to graduate?
Apply to as many jobs as you can and work every connection you can to try and land a good job. Focus on getting that first good job then go do what you want later on in your career.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know:
I love to cook. I cook nearly every night. I love all types of food and find cooking to be one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Take pride in what you eat!

If you were to do it all again, would you still choose UEL?
There are schools with better reputations and connections but UEL is a great institution that provided me with invaluable experience. I would attend UEL again given the chance. PhD??