Member of Sigma Alpha Delta Since: Spring 2007 – Spring 2008
Baruch College Date of Graduation: Fall 2008
Major: Human Resources Management
The vibrant and enthusiastic Melissa Sanchez was born and raised in New York. She moved from Queens, New York to Orlando, Florida during her sophomore year of High School. In Florida, Melissa completed her high school education and began her college education at the University of Central Florida. But this New York native hungered for the drive of the Big Apple, and she soon moved back to New York.
Eager to begin working, she immediately began applying to several companies, landing the first job she applied for with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Melissa began working as an assistant to the Head of Member Services of the company for 5 years before transferring to the Community Investment Department of the company as an analyst. As the company’s First Home Club Analyst, she and her partner officer help provide grants to first-time homebuyers, using banks as the middlemen that will help pay for the buyers’ down-payments and closing costs. She even facilitates training programs for the banks so that they can learn about her company’s grant program. She also attends education seminars held for prospective homebuyers so that she can introduce herself and her company’s mission to the clients.
After her first year of work, Melissa re-started her college education at Brooklyn College, aiming to complete her undergraduate degree right here in New York. Not soon after did she transfer to Baruch College after several co-workers, alumni of Baruch, stressed the great level of education and prestige that the college carries as a business school. It was during her time at Baruch College that she decided to be a more active student, which is why she chose to be part of Sigma Alpha Delta. During her time at Sigma, she was an active member; a part of the Volunteer Committee, attended business career events with speakers, and went to the Sigma meetings. She even successfully spearheaded an event called “Hands-On NY” where she and other volunteers renovated an Uptown Manhattan park, becoming her most memorable moment while being at Sigma. She recalled “everyone put gloves on to fix the local community garden that helped nearby residents plant flowers and grow fruits.”
Being part of Sigma helped her grow on a personal level; Melissa saw how the society’s members were so friendly and happy with one another and she soon felt comfortable to be a more open person. Melissa claims she was focused solely on attending classes and remaining a strict employee at work, believing that was the “New York behavior” she had to embody. She did not interact much with students at Baruch or peers at work, but after joining Sigma she soon realized it was okay to just be herself. Melissa felt Sigma was a “positive environment that allowed everyone to interact with one another.” She also admired how Sigma Alpha Delta fostered an environment of “play and work,” because she felt members could learn to be professionals in the real world yet still be relaxed and natural with one another which is a great stepping stone into the career world.
Aside from her professional life, Melissa is also planning her upcoming wedding, since she recently was engaged. To this day, Melissa feels her greatest accomplishment is completing college while working full-time. However, Melissa still has a few career goals in mind such as wanting to strengthen her company’s grant program. Her company, the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY, serves members throughout their district in the New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. As an analyst in the First Home Club program, Melissa continually works to try to streamline the program throughout her company’s district. Besides strengthening the company, she wants to conduct additional seminars with the banks, promote her grant program online by revamping the website, and visit all the different member locations in the district. She even wants to hold a meeting where all the member banks can meet one another to discuss “ideas that would ensure the program is delivered in the most effective manner to future homeowners.”
As a departing remark, she gave current Sigma members a few words of wisdom. She suggested that students need “to formulate their goals and be focused on achieving them,” whatever that goal may be, and to disregard any negative influences while doing so. She encourages Sigma members also to remain confident in their personal and career path by not allowing what others think to deter you from success.