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A Mortgage Consultant's Fresh Start

Meg McDermott

Joining Prosek Partners was a fresh start for me. With a BA in mathematical economics from a tiny liberal arts school in Colorado, I started my career at the first job I landed in finance: as a production support specialist at a residential mortgage company. I was working in refinance origination as a processor, serving as the client contact for a pipeline of anywhere between 30 to 60 homeowners at a time. This involved gathering paperwork for those who had applied for loans, ordering title work and scheduling appraisals and closings.

When the new hires flew out to the firm’s headquarters for an orientation trip, I told the head of the entire division that I wanted to be a mortgage consultant. I wanted to speak to current and potential mortgage borrowers upfront and quote them an interest rate, lock them into that rate and see it through to their closing. While this position typically required up to five years’ experience, I was fast-tracked along with a select few colleagues and began training one year in. I felt like I blinked and two and a half years into my mortgage lending career, I had already landed my dream role. Where was I to go from there?

That’s when a few things aligned quite perfectly. I was planning on making my next career move coincide with relocating back home to the New York metro area to be closer to my family. I began putting my feelers out and networking with my contacts on the East Coast, which is how I learned about financial public relations as an industry. I knew I had strong interpersonal and writing skills from my positive interactions with clients as a mortgage consultant, and I wanted to stay in the realm of finance. Through all of my networking, two things became very clear to me: I have a rare combination of communications and finance skills, and if I want to match these up, Prosek Partners is the place to be.

I moved back home with my parents and started as a Prosek Apprentice – Prosek’s PR development program for people new to the industry. I was starting from scratch in a brand-new field, but was confident that I’d be able to leverage my mortgage expertise and hit the ground running just as I had in Colorado. Sure at 9am on my first day at Prosek, one of my mortgage-focused teams was “so relieved” I had arrived. I quickly forewarned them that I had zero PR experience, but by diving in that first day, I rapidly learned what foreign terms like media lists, pitching and bylines meant.

A few months in, I was already taking my mortgage expertise and applying it to contributed content opportunities for my clients. I took on a monthly column on various mortgage topics that I still write today, which is posted to my client’s website and repurposed in trade publications. With on the ground experience, I’ve been in similar shoes as some of our current and prospective clients, which has allowed me to communicate from a unique perspective.

Having completed very technical math courses in college, I would have never anticipated entering the Communications world. My experience goes to show that trying out different roles and finding unique ways to match up your skills could land you in a career opportunity that you otherwise may have overlooked. 

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