Mary Wandor: Engineer Turned Housing Economics Enthusiast

Get a loan, buy a house, live in the house and pay off the loan. Fannie Mae? Oh, yea I think that’s that chocolate place in Chicago. That was the extent of my knowledge (or lack of) of the housing industry before my internship. Never in a million years did I think that I would take a job in anything housing related. After all, what do I know? Funny how life always has different plans.

I come from a family of engineers, so all I have ever known was math, science, and everything engineering. I was sure that that was the path for me. The program at my school required me to have a second major other than engineering. I decided on a major I thought would be “easy”: economics. Turns out, I ended up loving my economics classes and it wasn’t exactly easy.

On a whim I went to an interview with Fannie Mae, who prior to the interview, I had no knowledge about. After speaking to the team I was interviewing with, I was hooked; the housing industry fascinated me. When I was offered an internship, I decided to take it. When I arrived in DC, I was also informed that I was a part of the “Future Housing Leaders” program, which again, I knew nothing about. Flash forward eight weeks and I am almost finished with my internship. I can honestly say it has been the most amazing experience. I came into this internship looking for an idea of what I might want to do in my career. Now, I believe that housing is an industry that I can thrive in. Both Future Housing Leaders and this internship have showed me the variety of jobs I can do within one industry. Future Housing Leaders connected me to amazing resources that furthered my knowledge of the market and connected me to other leaders in the business. I realized that maybe housing was the right direction for me.

At my internship, I am on the Economic and Strategic Research team where every day I witness new and exciting things in the market. I personally have gotten to work on projects that could help in forecasting what will happen to different economic variables in the future. I have found that economics is so much more than what I learn in my classroom. Through this experience, I have learned that I truly can have a future in this industry, and most importantly, that I could be in the industry for years and still be learning. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I am thankful the Future Housing Leaders program and my employer, Fannie Mae, for contributing to my newfound passion.