Mar 25, 2021

REACH Prep Students Learn Networking Skills from Capital One

(Stamford, CT …March 25, 2021) Capital One hosted a panel discussion called “Building and Leveraging Your Network for Personal and Professional Success” for REACH Prep college students and Alumni on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Thirteen commercial banking professionals provided tips and shared their personal experiences with fifteen REACH Prep students and Alumni in a discussion which took place over Zoom.

The topics discussed ranged from explaining what a professional network is, how to acquire contacts through networking, the importance of having an elevator pitch, and how to leverage LinkedIn for networking. Panelist Mirag Vamja, Relationship Manager Sponsor Coverage, mentioned, “Networking takes practice. Practice with your professors, the career office, or anyone else to start so you develop the skill.”

One key theme that emerged in the discussion was the importance of a candidate being authentic during their interactions. Panelist Mark Patchell, Head of MMB Sponsor Finance & Specialties, noted, “if you’re authentic, people will want to work with you.”

Another key theme was how to stand out in a Zoom call. This emerged from a question posed by REACH Prep and Emory College student Nicholas Attai who has attended several Zoom information sessions with potential employers. Capital One panelists mentioned that showing up on a Zoom call early is a great way to connect potential contacts because of the ability to chat informally. In addition, panelist Matthew Morawa, Senior Relationship Manager Sponsor Coverage, suggested, “Asking questions during a Zoom call is a great way to connect. Then follow up afterwards within 24 hours to show your interest.”

This interactive panel discussion was a valuable resource for REACH Prep’s college students and Alumni who are looking for internships or future career opportunities. REACH Prep’s model of providing motivated black and Latinx students from underserved communities with access to high-quality education along with comprehensive and long-term support leads to college success rates that exceed national averages. This event was the second panel discussion that Capital One has held for REACH Prep. They also hosted an interview preparation workshop this past fall which was attended by 17 REACH Prep college students.

For more information about this event or to learn more about REACH Prep, please visit or contact Amy Kiser at

About Reach Prep

REACH Prep’s 12-year educational continuum starts with a fourth grader’s admission into the rigorous, 15-month Prep Academy program of coursework. During the fall of fifth grade, REACH Prep works with students and families during the process of admission to independent schools, including test and interview prep, and guidance with financial aid. There is ongoing academic and family support through high school, leading up to ACT/SAT test prep and college admission guidance. Summer opportunities throughout offer students access to internships, experiential learning opportunities, outdoor leadership, community service, study abroad and pre-collegiate programming. REACH Prep continues to work with its students during their college experience, helping them prepare for graduation, professional positions, and leadership roles in society. The non-profit organization was founded in 1994 and has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, visit: