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Jake Castro

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After leaving the Marine Corps in 2015, conforming back into society had some awkward moments, especially in answering the question “Well, what now?” My MOS was Combat Engineer which allowed me to handle explosives. However, our primary mission while deployed to Afghanistan was to search for the explosives in the ground, which is nearly impossible to translate into a civilian career. While leaving the military we had classes to help prepare us for the “civilian world” where one of the presenters spoke to us about the Thrift Savings Plans and how to maximize those financial benefits. His presentation intrigued me to look more into retirement and how people have used different financial tools to help their money make money. I decided to earn an Associate's in Business Administration from Northern Virginia Community College. After obtaining my degree, I immediately became a full-time Realtor. In my first year, I helped 7 clients close on their homes, mostly listing side because all of them were from cold calling or door knocking. With no budget for marketing my second year, I helped 8 clients which made it difficult for me to continue pursuing this as a career. I decided to go back to school in pursuit of a more stable career. I uprooted my life in DC and flew to Phoenix but while taking time off to move across the country I noticed that my previous experience has led me to Finance. While enlisted as a Marine I loved developing new leaders and watching them fill leadership billets molding the newly enlisted. When I was a Realtor I absolutely loved educating my clients on their best course of action and reading the contracts to ensure that they knew exactly what the terms were. While in any previous role I was consistently researching the different financial markets and staying up to date on news, not just for my investments but because it was something that piqued my interest. The idea that there is never an exact answer and roles typically require consistent self-education is what excites me about the industry. Currently, in my pursuit for a Finance position, I led a team to win first place in the Rockin’ Business Challenge at Shamrock. We highlighted a major supply chain issue and created a solution to bring half a million dollars’ worth of savings to the company! I am still working as an Accountant for Shamrock part-time but seeking Finance Internship opportunities for summer 2022. My ideal position after college is Financial Analyst or a similar Consulting type role in a small to mid-sized company.

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