Greg had a friend who introduced him to the real estate field after college. He worked in commercial real estate in the DC market, but soon felt the pull back to Baltimore. Greg took a real estate opportunity in Baltimore working for a well-known family, but when the market changed, his company took a turn for the worse. He saw the fortunes of many real estate professionals he greatly respected in constant flux and did not want that for himself. After learning more, he went into the insurance business, got his investment license and soon started his own investment business. "The work is challenging," Greg said, "but it is never boring." Greg spoke candidly to clients about his feelings on follow through. "Very few people get themselves out there. There is a lack of follow through." He advised his audience to "be tenacious. Following up goes a long way, whether it is a personal email or hand-written note; it is important to sell yourself."
John is a lawyer at a large firm in Baltimore, however he didn't always know that's what he'd become. In college, John studied history. "[Studying history] was not something that got me a job." John learned early out of college that getting a degree is different than getting a job. Once out of school, John worked in credit and collections for an apparel store. Interested in journalism however, he left to do freelance work. "I got paid very little, but it was a stepping stone," John said. Soon he landed a position as a fact-checker at TV guide. John worked there until he moved to Maine where he got his law degree. He worked hard in school, did well, and moved back to Baltimore. John stressed the importance of networking and connections for finding a job. He also encouraged clients to put the word out that they are looking. He shared is own experience with applying for jobs, saying that simply turning in an application without speaking to a manager was frustrating and fruitless. Word of mouth was the most helpful tool to John when job-searching. "Work your relationships, everything you do is creating an impression," he said.
MND's own Program Coordinator, Clair, also shared about her career journey and how she ended up at Maryland New Directions. Clair grew up in the Bahamas but finished high school in Baltimore. She moved to Atlanta for college and there got involved in extra-curricular activities that gave her experience with real world deadlines and budgets. Becoming a teaching assistant and working on the yearbook laid a foundation for Clair that helped her achieve success later in her career. After starting a family, Clair moved to DC to pursue a Master's in counseling. "I always had a passion for helping people and giving advice," she said. Clair also wanted to work with at-risk populations, especially male ex-offenders. She interviewed at MND for an internship, and the rest is history. There was a period when Clair was a full-time mother, student, and intern. When MND's Program Coordinator left, a door opened for her to work here. She was hired full time at MND. "I always held on," Clair said of managing her many responsibilities. "I was resilient, persistent, and involved in many things. I knew I had to be an example to my daughter."