MBA Education Path to Diversity Scholar Profile: Kevin Ramirez, AMP
By MBA Insights Staff
June 26, 2018
(One of a continuing series of profiles of participants in the MBA Education Path to Diversity (P2D) Scholarship Program, which enables employees from diverse backgrounds to advance their professional growth and career development.)
Kevin Ramirez, AMP, is Director of Training with New American Funding, Tustin, Calif. He has been in the mortgage industry nearly 20 years and has been training mortgage sales professionals for nearly 10 years. For the past five years, he has been a certified Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System licensing instructor and has assisted hundreds of southern California budding mortgage professionals pass the national SAFE exam and begin their loan origination careers. He is a graduate of the University of California/Irvine where he earned a degree in Psychology, "which has surprisingly been a huge boost to my sales career," he noted.
"I have a passion to learn as much as I can about this ever-changing mortgage industry and pass along that knowledge to others," Ramirez said.
MBA INSIGHTS: How did you hear about the Path to Diversity program?
KEVIN RAMIREZ, AMP, NEW AMERICAN FUNDING: A previous co-worker introduced me to the Path to Diversity program, and I couldn't be more grateful. I was not aware of any type of program like this and was excited to learn of this opportunity. Kind of funny, I had always reflected on my college years of missing opportunities for scholarships, so as a working adult I promised myself I would not let these types of opportunities slip by.
INSIGHTS: What inspired you to get more involved?
RAMIREZ: From the time I began my mortgage career, I was fascinated about the complexity and depth of the industry. It was like learning an entire new language and I wanted to master it. I looked up to the mortgage knowledge "gurus" at my companies and basically wanted to be them someday. Then when I actually started learning more about product guidelines and other facets of the industry, I found myself casually teaching others about it. And then when I saw how many of them were just as curious to learn as I was, my path in training became clear to me.
There are so many myths and misunderstandings in this industry, that my training team at New American Funding has adopted the unofficial name of "Mortgage Myth Busters." We take pride in providing clear and concise clarification for many mortgage topics that even many seasoned mortgage professionals don't quite comprehend.
INSIGHTS: Did you find the application process to be easy?
RAMIREZ: Yes, the instructions were very clear and the process did not take long at all.
INSIGHTS: Have you had a mentor or mentors who encouraged/supported you?
RAMIREZ: Sad to say that I don't believe I've had a true mentor in the industry, however, there have been several leaders that have provided me occasional insight along the way. I would say that my company New American Funding has been very supportive of me achieving my Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation.
Now I am driven to take more initiative and provide to others the type of mentorship I did not quite have.
INSIGHTS: How has the Path to Diversity scholarship benefited you, personally and professionally?
RAMIREZ: Knowledge and networking! I completed the three School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB) courses and was exposed to more corners of the industry that I was always curious about. SOMB II blew my mind with the insight of the Secondary Market, and SOMB III was incredibly fun and enlightening with having us run our own simulated mortgage company.
As a mortgage training professional, I have taken my newfound knowledge from the SOMB courses and integrated it throughout our training curriculum to empower our salesforce.
And as I mentioned, these courses introduced me to several mortgage professionals across the country from various departments. This is key. Many of us tend to become so engulfed in our department and role, that we rarely have the time to get out of our comfort zone and build new relationships with other department and company colleagues.
And finally, the Path to Diversity program has paved the way for my professional goal to achieve a Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designation so that I may later lead training courses from MBA.
INSIGHTS: What have you been able to bring back to your company as a result of the Path to Diversity program?
RAMIREZ: First, I am a proud three-time achiever of the Path to Diversity scholarship. I have only taken the School of Mortgage Banking courses, but the wealth of knowledge from these courses has broadened my horizons. Personally, I speak with more confidence on more aspects of the industry, and as I mentioned, I have enhanced the quality of our internal training content. Of all the mortgage companies I've worked at, New American Funding has been the most supportive of my professional growth, and I feel I've reciprocated by using my MBA course knowledge to progress our training department.
INSIGHTS: What would you say to someone considering applying for a Path to Diversity scholarship?
RAMIREZ: Just do it! It's an easy application process, and the rewards are exponential. In fact, I've been spreading the word of Path to Diversity for over two years! I've already had a handful of people take advantage of it and start their courses.
It comes down to this: either you're improving yourself, or you're staying stagnant. Given we all know the mortgage industry is unbelievably dynamic and evolving, it is downright harmful to your career as a mortgage professional if you do not take advantage of opportunities like this to empower yourself.
About the MBA Path to Diversity Scholarship Program
The Path to Diversity Scholarship Program recognizes existing industry professionals who are seeking to advance their careers through continuing education. Recipients receive a voucher to cover course registration fees, up to a maximum of $2,000, for popular MBA Education courses and designation programs. This education opportunity enables employees from diverse backgrounds to advance their professional growth and career development.
MBA recognizes that a strong, responsible and sustainable real estate finance industry requires a workforce that is reflective of our society at large.
For more information about the Path to Diversity Scholarship Program, click https://www.mba.org/conferences-and-education/mba-education/path-to-diversity.