Recent Alumna Leads Finance Industry, Gives Back to UH Bauer by Mentoring Students
For recent graduate Reva Ma, the opportunities she was afforded as a student at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business were life-changing ― she met her future employer, made close friends and learned how to channel her energy into work that challenges her.
That’s why, as an alumna, Ma is committed to giving back to UH Bauer. After graduating in 2007 with a bachelor of business administration degree in both finance and marketing, she stayed connected with the college by volunteering to mentor students and participating in fundraising efforts.
Ma is a financial planner with Strategic Financial Group/MassMutual, a connection she made as a student through a career fair hosted by the college’s Rockwell Career Center. Coming back to the event each semester, now as a managing associate for SFG/MassMutual, serves a dual purpose: she gets to network and share more about the company, and students are able to meet a potential employer.
“I love the opportunity of meeting talented students from Bauer,” she added. “Mentoring students and helping them to achieve their educational and career goals is very important to me. Our firm offers internship programs to Bauer students all year long.”
In addition to attending Career Fair, Ma stays involved with the college and its students by participating in Résumé ER, an event that allows career counselors and alumni to give students feedback on their résumés. She also speaks in professional meetings for student organizations at UH Bauer, including the Finance Association and American Marketing Association.
Raising funds for student scholarships has also been important to Ma, whose SFG/MassMutual team participates in the Bauer Champions Scholarship Campaign and Ted Bauer Golf Classic each year. The company is also a participating sponsor of this year’s Bauer College Alumni Association Annual Meeting, which will be held on Aug. 19.
At SFG/MassMutual, Ma works alongside many fellow UH Bauer Cougars — the company has a regular practice of recruiting students for internships and has hired on several of those interns for full-time positions after graduation, including Ma. SFG/MassMutual has also supported the high-traffic lobby area of Melcher Hall by lending its name to the video wall, now known as the Strategic Financial News Center, which displays news and announcements to students.
Ma’s enthusiasm for helping students succeed illustrates not only the strong alumni network the college has in the Houston community but also the level of success Bauer students can have in the business world almost immediately after graduating, said John O’Dell (’70), the college’s director of alumni relations.
“Reva is relentless and very hardworking to build her client base, yet she finds time to support others and her college,” he said. “She always has a smile and an energy about her that draws others to her. It is no accident that she is among the most successful in her field.”
Ma’s latest success comes from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the largest financial services membership association in the country, which named her a “Rising Star” in the industry.
In 2009, Ma had a record-setting year at MassMutual — she was ranked No. 1 in the nation in her experience group and was named Junior Associate of the Year, a recognition that earned her a spot in the company’s wall of fame and a one-week trip to Greece.
In addition, she qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table, an international association for financial service professionals around the world that selects members based on high productivity and leadership benchmarks.
By Jessica Navarro