Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2021

Felipe Jaramillo

New York University, Stern School of Business

I’m a Colombian with a strong work ethic, passionate about Fintech and a loyal friend.”

Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia

Fun Fact About Yourself: One of my main passions is motorcycle touring. I have ridden my bike in North and South America and also in Europe. I think that traveling by bike gives you the unique opportunity of meeting new people and discovering new cultures.

Undergraduate School and Major:

B.B.A Bachelor of Business Administration

Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:

Acciones & Valores (Bogotá, Colombia)

Head of Treasury Management

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have seen a traditional stock brokerage firm founded in 1959, focused on proprietary trading, become an innovative financial company dedicated to wealth and treasury management. I am proud to have contributed to this shift. I oversaw the introduction of Western Union Business Solutions into the Colombian market and was later promoted to lead the team that has enrolled over 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Something that has really garnered my attention with the classmates that I have met so far is that they are multifaceted individuals with many diverse and interesting talents that surpass the academic sphere.

What is the best part of coming to New York City to earn your MBA? In my opinion, there is no better place than New York City to engage in experiential learning, especially if your area of interest is, like mine, financial services.

I plan to take advantage of being in New York by joining the NYU Stern Fintech Association that offers career development workshops, experiential programs, speaking events, company treks, and alumni networking opportunities. Being in NYC and close to Silicon Alley and Wall Street will also give me the opportunity to meet industry professionals involved in Fintech endeavors. As a step toward my long-term career goals, pursuing my MBA in NYC will also improve my chances of getting an internship in a leading bank or Fintech startup.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I’m very passionate about the Fintech revolution and after an exhaustive investigation of MBA programs, I concluded that there was no better school to enhance my knowledge on the topic and extend my professional network than NYU Stern. The school has an entire MBA specialization on the topic, renowned faculty members, and a unique alumni network in finance positions. In my opinion, the school is without a doubt the leader in Fintech education.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I look forward to joining the Latin American Business Association and working together with the Fintech Association in order to bring Latin American finance leaders to speak to the business school community. This would be a great opportunity to promote the thriving Latin American Fintech ecosystem with all the Stern community.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I would have to say that the most challenging – but also most rewarding – part of the application process was the “Pick Six” visual personal expression essay portion. It was a difficult task because summarizing what you want to illustrate about yourself in only six pictures can be challenging. I found this portion to be extremely rewarding because it made me present my ideas outside the box and challenged my creative skills. Also, it showed that Stern cares deeply about the human side of students which sets the business school apart.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’m above the average age of the people who are admitted to Stern MBA. Nevertheless, I did not want to pursue an MBA before because I felt that I needed to close my cycle at Acciones & Valores. I’m very proud to have contributed to the company by designing and leading products that helped change the business model of the company. Having reached this milestone made me realize that is was time to pursue an MBA because I have reached a level of maturity and experience that will allow me to take full advantage of the program, and I will be able to enrich the discussions in class.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, LBS.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The three factors that I prioritized when I researched Business Schools were cultural fit, specializations, and career opportunities.

In my opinion, visiting the schools and talking to students, admissions officers and professors is essential in order to truly understand the culture of each school and your possible fit. I also believe that it is critical to read specialized blogs to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each program and how they will contribute toward your career goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In 2014, I traveled through a great part of Colombia on my motorcycle. I consider this experience as a defining moment because I witnessed the conditions in which a lot of communities live in my country and discovered first-hand the abysmal inequality that reigns in emerging countries. This experience shaped the focus and ultimate endgame of my professional work because it made me realize that the financial system can be a catalyst for social impact and that traditional industries can be re-thought and used to reduce the inequality gap.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? My long-term career goal is to be in a digital transformation and innovation leadership role at a major international bank, where I will generate substantial business and social impact. I strongly believe that it is conceivable for established industries to disrupt the status quo and reinvent parts of themselves in favor of our communities.

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