Connections of Brothers Leads to Job Opportunities
by Ian Treger (Alpha–Washington & Lee ’17)
A recent graduate of Washington and Lee University
One of the highlights of college for me was being a part of the Kappa Alpha Order, a fraternity that allowed me to make close friends and enjoy my four years in college. I found another benefit of being part of a well-known fraternity was meeting other students from other schools; one of my best friends from high school was a KA at Washington College, and I met other members from multiple schools across the United States.
One of the KAs from outside of W&L I met was Connor Burke (Lambda–Virginia ’17), who rowed at the University of Virginia. Last summer, I did an internship in Richmond working at a real estate research firm. While I eventually ended up following a different path than real estate, at the time I was highly interested in the profession.
While in Richmond, I visited a friend of mine from the Virginia Military Institute, Chris Beck. I took summer classes at VMI after my freshman year and met Chris, a wrestler at VMI that was in both Calculus and Biology with me. We kept in touch and saw each other intermittently. He’s originally from Norfolk, so when we found out we would be close to each other that summer, I went to visit him and his family for July 4th. Chris has a couple of older brothers who also went to VMI and were inducted as KAs after graduation. In addition to his family members, I also met Conner at a barbeque. He told me he was also interested in real estate, so we swapped numbers and agreed to help each other out with the connections our respective schools offer. During my senior year, I visited Conner during alumni weekend at UVA and he was nice enough to host me and show me around the school.
Shortly after, I received notice that I had been selected for a “superday” (a series of in-person interviews) in New York for Bank of America. A fraternity brother of mine at W&L that I kept in touch with and often saw while in New York was instrumental during the process and I was selected as part of their analyst class in equity capital markets after graduation at W&L. Even though I ended up in a different position than real estate, I had an associate at Avison Young, a commercial real estate firm, reach out to me a few weeks after landing the Bank of America job. I had met this alumnus at a real estate conference in D.C. and the opportunity, to help build out the capital markets group of the D.C. branch of the company, was a great one not only to be part of building something new but also because the role usually requires prior experience. However, I already had my employment after college. I thought of Conner since he seemed personable and I enjoyed meeting and visiting him; I also knew he was a hard worker since he rowed crew. In addition, we shared a KA connection, so I was happy to recommend him for the position. I sent him a quick text describing the role and encouraging him to apply.
Conner reached out to his connection in the company and eventually got a “superday” of his own, interviewing with the W&L alum that had reached out to me. Through his knowledge, hard work, and personality he landed the role. We had plans to celebrate- I was going to visit UVA again during the spring and he had expressed interest in coming to W&L for a weekend. However, COVID-19 quickly derailed these plans.
I have been happy to be a part of the Kappa Alpha Order. The connections that I made, both within and outside of my school through the fraternity, helped me to secure my job and help a friend with his job search. While I haven’t seen many of the people mentioned above because of the current pandemic, I can’t wait to spend time with everyone and reminisce on our college fraternity days.