Foster Kelly ’14

What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Business, Management and, Marketing; Class of 2014.

What is your current position (title, company, location)?  Can you describe a typical day?
Director of Business Development and Sales at RateReset in McLean VA. A typical day involves waking up at 7:00am, walking the dog, and then heading to the gym to work out. In order to keep a clear head and healthy lifestyle, working out is critical. When you are in charge of all of the sales nationwide for your company, it is important to have a routine to stay organized. Typically, I have 3-6 sales calls, product demonstrations, and/or investor/partner calls a day. In between those meetings I strive to schedule 1-3 more sales calls with prospective clients. This develops what I like to call the “sales storm” above me and eventually closed deals will rain down. I eat at my desk and see what is trending in the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry. I work for a FinTech company and it is imperative that I stay updated on the new FinTechs in the market. I leave the office around 5:00 or 6:00pm to head home where I have dinner with my wife Cara and dog Opal.

How did your major prepare you for your current job?
I was not the best student at UMW, but I did get good grades. The classes that prepared me the most for my current job would have been an entrepreneur class, business writing and communication, and statistics. (I make a lot of ROI graphs and, monthly reports for our clients.

How did you become interested in your field?
My first job out of college was a Mortgage Loan Consultant. I was to blessed to have my branch manager Jim McQuaig as a leader and coach who trained me to become an incredible salesman. I was 100% commission and quickly learned that in a commission job you get paid for how hard you worked, and I worked hard. During that job I developed a love for sales and the thrill that came after landing a big deal or hitting record closings for that month at my branch in Herndon VA. I have now taken those skills and applied them to my new role as national sales director at RateReset.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
You will never be successful if you are not organized and willing to put in the time. My leader and coach, Jim, hammered this belief into me. I know exactly what I am doing every day, week, month, and year. This may sound silly but, write down your goals. Trust me, it works.

Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?
I hope this doesn’t sound too cliché but, I met my wife at UMW in a business class. Cara Peters was a much better student than I was and I’m incredibly thankful to have met her. She pushed me to become a better student which I believe had a major factor on my current success now.

What’s your fondest memory of UMW?
I lived in a house with a few of my best friends in college. Sitting outside having a few drinks, laughing and having a good time were by far the best times. Its impossible to pick a favorite memory.

Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?
Every person I meet my age I recommend that they find a commissioned job. In just a year and a half out of college I was able to more than double my annual income and rose to be a top producing mortgage consultant at my branch. This gave me the ability to buy my first home in Falls Church, VA. I often travel all around the country presenting in front of thousands of people on digital banking transformation and being able to do that in my eyes is an incredible accomplishment. I’m very thankful every day for what I have and where my career has taken me.

How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?
Hard working, extremely handy, stubborn, and kind.

In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?
I made a lot of mistakes when I first started out but, I don’t see them as mistakes if you learn from them and move on.