Meet Grace Orndorff, Analyst, Credit Tenant Lease Finance & Structured Debt Products

"During my 2017 summer internship, I quickly realized Mesirow was a place where I could learn and grow my career."

Connect with Grace
Learn about her business

In the beginning…

When did you start working at Mesirow?
I participated in Mesirow's internship program in the summer of 2017 and became a full-time employee this past September. I'm currently working with our CTL Finance & Structured Debt Products team and have been given the opportunity to rotate into Public Finance this April. I'm looking forward to gaining exposure and expanding my knowledge base within our Capital Markets and Investment Banking division.

What drew you to Mesirow?
During my internship, I had a great experience and learned so much. I quickly realized it was a place where I could continue to learn and grow in my career. I could see myself working at Mesirow long term, so when I received an offer after my internship, I didn't feel the need to look anywhere else.

When did your know you wanted to pursue a career in CTL Finance & Structured Debt Products?
During my internship, I was particularly interested in the CTL rotation. I enjoyed learning about a product I wasn't previously familiar with and was drawn to how CTL combined aspects of real estate with more traditional characteristics of finance.

How she spends her time…

Tell us about your role:
I assist my team in performing due diligence of potential deals through market and credit research. I am also responsible for our initial underwriting of potential deals and assist in writing private placement memorandums before our offerings.

What inspires you to come to work each day?
Being at an early point in my career, the prospect of learning something new to better myself and add to my skillset excites me daily.

What is your passion?
Our product is relatively new and unknown - that's very exciting to me! I'm energized to be part of a group that is continually growing and expanding Mesirow's business. 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in this area?
Internships! I fully believe that internships are the most important first step as you start your career. Learning about finance or banking in school is one thing, but I don't think you can truly know an industry until you've gained experience within it.

Let’s talk CTL Finance & Structured Debt Products…

What skills are important to have in this field?
The technical skills that I use most often relate to Excel and finance/accounting methods. Something that may be surprising is how often I find myself writing - it's important to have strong writing skills, especially when writing private placement memorandums or client emails. Effective communication helps us succeed in pitching/selling our deals, whether it be to lenders, rating agencies or appraisers.

Can you share a success with us? 
It was really exciting to work on our air cargo logistics deals.  It was one of the first projects I was heavily involved in and I had the opportunity to jump right in. I was proud to be trusted to work on these large and important deals.

What’s uniquely Mesirow…

What has your Mesirow experience been like, so far?
I haven't worked in many other office environments, but from what I can tell, the opportunity and exposure I have to every step of the deal process seems very unique. Even if I am not directly involved in each step, I am able to see and absorb how my teammates handle challenges that may come up during the course of my career.

What would you share with someone new to the firm?
Mesirow is focused on people - our clients and our employees. I'm surrounded by teammates who are truly invested in helping me learn and develop, setting me up for a successful future.

Grace after five o’clock…

Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work:
Soccer was a big part of my life growing up; I played soccer in college at Northwestern. Now, in my free time, I really enjoy running, finding and trying out new restaurants and watching various HBO shows.

What's your mantra?
Leave everything better than the way you found it.

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