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Business & Leadership

April 24, 2024

Career journey spotlight: Archna Gupta

Career journey spotlight: Archna Gupta

Career journey spotlight: Archna Gupta

I started working at Walker & Dunlop on September 20, 1993. It was the start of a successful 30-year career, where I now serve as the SVP and Chief Underwriter.

Early days

I was working for another commercial real estate company when this role came to me. I had indicated an interest in moving to the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia area after getting married, and my former employer in Houston shared my resume with a few companies, one of which was Green Park Financial (now Walker & Dunlop). It was meant to be!

Despite my previous experience in CRE and finance, this job was a very new experience because my background was as a financial analyst and research director for commercial properties, and I was working on the production side of the business. Mortgage banking was brand new to me, but I wanted to learn.

I went through several trials initially. My first day “in the office” was a flight to Houston to work on a deal. That first deal died after experiencing several setbacks. My second deal came together quickly on a Friday night as I raced against the clock to drop off the paperwork at the airport so FedEx could place it en route before the weekend. Within two months, I had a call from my previous company asking me to come back and be part of a new division they were creating. However, I declined the offer.

The Walker difference

I remained with Walker & Dunlop because I noticed things were different here. My first two CRE jobs out of college were at large firms where I was the only female, other than admin support staff. At W&D, the head of Closings was a female, as were a couple of the underwriters. I started feeling a sense of belonging versus being the odd one out. Even though diversity wasn’t a conscious goal of companies at the time, Walker & Dunlop was already making moves to diversify its workforce.

The learning experiences are also unmatched at W&D. I had a tough but great, boss at the helm who asked hard questions. I considered our round-table meetings “informal training” because we learned to anticipate the questions he would ask. We had to know our deals inside and out. If you did, then you survived. Otherwise, you would be let go from the firm very quickly. (This was not the era of performance improvement plans!)

My best career advice: Don’t stay at one job, department, or company early in your career. Absorb as much knowledge as you can. Take this time to learn, grow, and experiment. It will help you become better wherever you decide to land.

At Walker & Dunlop, you have the world in your hands at one company. You have the opportunity to shift jobs and departments without having to leave the company. You can be a brand new hire and still have management’s ear. The shared knowledge here allows for everyday learning opportunities. You learn from individual deals, the various trainings offered, and each other. This continuous learning and growing culture makes every individual a more capable professional and makes each day at W&D a rewarding experience.


Interested in pursuing a career with Walker & Dunlop? Browse our current openings.

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