Elvins Derisma has grit.
Derisma joined the U.S. Army as a high school senior. There, he spent four years in an infantry unit learning about land reconnaissance, battlefield communication and teamwork in times of exceptional stress. Despite the rigorous physical training and demanding schedule, Derisma started his college career at about the same time, completing two years of college while on active duty. He slept less than four hours a night for two years but says his diligence paid off as his grades never slipped during that time. He currently has a 3.43 GPA.
He says his motivation for excellence comes from being raised in an immigrant family. He also says the military taught him lessons he is now using as co-president of the USF Real Estate Society, a student organization with 400 members. Derisma helped arrange corporate tours, brought in guest speakers and led meetings. He believes real estate is critical to the overall economy, and also complex – which coupled with what he calls a “low-yield economic environment” for fixed-income investors – can lead to an oversupply in the property markets as investors search for higher yield. He says students need to learn as much as they can from their classes while also gleaning insight from experienced professionals.
Though Derisma is no longer an infantryman, he is still working while attending school. He is a commercial real estate development analyst, working full-time and learning different methodologies regarding the real estate investment process, municipality regulatory process, financial modeling,
Derisma plans to pursue a master’s degree next. He has already been accepted into schools such as Georgetown University, New York University and the University of California, Berkeley.