It's not for everyone — sitting in front of a camera and having your conversation recorded, so that you and others can critique how well you handled yourself. But as part of her "path for growth," self-examination is all par for the course for Jessica.
Jessica graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor's degree in English and Journalism. After college, she was hired by a real estate company to do research and writing. "I looked around and discovered that what I really wanted was to work in business," she says.
So, Jessica earned an MBA in real estate and urban land economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
She joined Freddie Mac in 2012, starting as an underwriter in the Southeast Region. Three years ago, Jessica became a credit policy developer, drafting new and revising existing credit policies for the Multifamily division. It's a job she thoroughly enjoys. "My team is on the cutting edge of everything new that's happening at the company — changes to our business and the industry itself" she says.
Much of Jessica's day is spent researching, analyzing and writing about policy. She meets with Multifamily lawyers, producers and underwriters to understand the business needs and discuss possible legal concerns. Being able to communicate well and find agreement within a diverse group of stakeholders takes practice. "Because of my previous experience in underwriting, I bring first-hand knowledge of our lenders and the front end of the business," she says.
An example of her policy work includes the rollout of Green Advantage®, a Multifamily offering that rewards borrowers who make environmentally friendly improvements to their properties. "That experience inspired me to learn more about green building practices," she says. "I even became an accredited LEED AP professional."
Jessica lends her positive attitude and collaborative spirit to other groups around campus. She serves on the leadership team for the women's networking Employee Resource Group, and manages Freddie Mac's Ellevate program. "These groups are really important," she says. "They're a source of encouragement and support and tend to attract women like me who love to learn and grow."
So how did Jessica end up in front of a camera, so that her conversation could be recorded and analyzed? To hone her communication skills, she took classes in public speaking and how to run effective meetings.
"I trained as a certified life coach," she says, "which included mock coaching sessions and lots of feedback. I've become a much better listener, empowering people to come up with their own solutions. These are skills I use at Freddie Mac. I like to think I'm helping others to become their best possible selves."