What Should You Be Looking for in an Entry-Level Job with Benjamin F.
Benjamin F., a Sales First Flyer, graduated during the Covid-19 pandemic in May 2020 and, like many people, struggled to find a job. All companies or government agencies he wanted to apply to were no longer hiring due to the pandemic. Benjamin ended up working the night shift at Lowe's® while pursuing his MBA. There were very few opportunities to find a quality entry-level job, as many were reluctant to hire people they'd have to train to work from home.
“One of my best friends got hired by Freedom Mortgage in May of 2021. Before this, I always viewed the mortgage industry as a something I would only have to deal with when buying my own home, not something I would make my career,” said Benjamin. “After weeks of hearing how great Freedom Mortgage was, I decided to investigate it myself. After reading about the First Flyer program online, I was instantly intrigued as it sounded too good to be true.”
What struck Benjamin first was the level of training at Freedom Mortgage. “Coming into Freedom Mortgage, I had only limited knowledge of how mortgages truly worked, and no knowledge of the process of originating one. From the first day I was hired, I began to learn how to become a loan originator and cannot emphasize the importance of the training that was provided to me,” Ben elaborated. “My first three weeks all consisted of training to prep me for the SAFE Exam, a key requirement to become a loan originator. This intensive crash course allowed me to pass the exam and take my first step in my career.”
After the SAFE Exam, Ben began to transition to Servicing training. “Those next weeks with my incredible trainers, Renee and Brad, prepped me to work in Servicing and get my first interactions with borrowers,” said Benjamin. “While taking calls, we had another amazing supervisor, Haley, who was able to help us with any issues we had and helped us find the correct solutions. All these trainings were crucial in helping me become better-equipped to originate loans for borrowers. Without these trainings and the amazing, dedicated trainers and supervisors, I would not feel nearly as prepared to help borrowers achieve their American Dream. I am currently in LA Prep, which is training specific to the ins-and-outs of being a loan advisor and the standard of excellent trainers is holding true.”
“As someone who had only ever worked customer service jobs or in a warehouse during college, this level of training was instantly attractive,” Benjamin continued. “I was excited from what I had seen online, but it does not compare to the actual impact my trainers had on me. Without each and every one of them, I would not have been able to get to where I am today.”
Another thing that captured Benjamin’s attention was the emphasis on community service that is a pillar of Freedom Mortgage. “Whether it is sending videos to the troops, raising money for the Red Cross or providing a full day off for community service, Freedom Mortgage truly cares about the communities we are a part of. While we do amazing fundraisers, I have in the past volunteered with the Special Olympics and wish to do more work for them,” said Benjamin. “Freedom Mortgage recognizes this and provides the community service day as PTO to volunteer in the manner of your choosing.”
“In addition to the great training and volunteering opportunities is an amazing culture. All managers and trainers I have had thus far have been amazing. They care for me as a person, not just as a coworker,” Benjamin told us. “This carries through to various networking events and get togethers set up by Freedom Mortgage to allow employees to meet one another in a fun, non-work environment. The one that sticks out to me the most is a bowling event we had several months ago where I was able to meet my mentor in person while enjoying a fun night with my First Flyer classmates.”
“Moving into mentorship, I, along with all other First Flyers, have been assigned a mentor who we are able to ask questions and get advice regarding our careers,” Benjamin divulged. “When transitioning into Loan Advisor Prep, I asked my mentor many questions as he has been a loan originator for many years and understands the ins and outs. Being able to get advice from an experienced person in the field at any point is incredibly beneficial as I attempt to mold myself into the best loan originator I can be.”
We asked Ben, “What makes the First Flyer program a good fit for new graduates?” He responded:
“Some of the most important aspects of the First Flyer program that make it an amazing first job out of college is the income and benefits. There is generous PTO, with which I am taking a whole week off for my MBA residency conference. In addition to this, the pay is great, especially during training before you begin to originate loans. This allowed me to focus on my training without having to worry about my income until I became a more established loan originator. After 90 days, you can utilize a company-sponsored 401(k) with some matching contributions, which is great as I am able to not only plan for today, but for myself in the future.”
“I would argue that the most important things to look for in a job fresh out of college are availability of training, ability to grow, pay/benefits and culture,” Ben expounded. “In all of these areas, the First Flyer program excels. With incredible training to prepare you to originate loans with borrowers, Freedom Mortgage invests heavily in their incoming First Flyers. There is massive ability to grow as you will earn commission after the first year, while the first year in the program you can focus on sharpening all your skills to be successful further on. With a good amount of PTO to be able to take vacations or a day for holidays or volunteering, Freedom Mortgage provides true work-life balance to employees.”
“Finally, Freedom Mortgage’s culture is unlike any I have seen in past work experiences. I feel as though my First Flyer classmates and I have all become good friends through our bonded experiences and push each other to be our very best, while also enjoying the out-of-office events designed to further propagate the great culture Freedom Mortgage has cultivated.”