“I am a passionate finance professional, world traveler and avid sports fan.”
Hometown: Binghamton, New York
Fun Fact About Yourself: I once hiked 10,000+ feet up the mountain of Monserrate in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.
Undergraduate School and Major: Penn State University, finance
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Wells Fargo, Investment Strategist
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A good portion of the students I spoke with were either interning or working full-time for the companies I really want to work for post-MBA. Additionally, they were working in the geographies that I want to live in after school. The ability to switch into my intended career path and location was critical to me and I felt assured that I could get to where I wanted to be by joining UNC Kenan-Flagler.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Many of the classmates I have met so far are friendly and laid back, yet ambitious and successful individuals. I get the sense that most are willing to help one another rather than compete against each other. This is one of the big reasons I chose UNC Kenan-Flagler!
What club or activity excites you most at this school? From a professional standpoint, I am excited to join the Investment Banking Club and Corporate Finance Club. Both will allow me to interact with first- and second-year students pursuing similar career paths. Personally, I can’t wait to participate in a Global Immersion Elective (GIE), which will allow me to fulfill my desire to travel while also studying different countries and their cultures in the classroom.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being entrusted with managing $190 million in investable assets for 35 high-net worth individuals, families, and non-profit organizations, including foundations and endowments.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I spent six years in the wealth management industry and I learned during that time which direction I wanted to go within finance, which was investment banking. I felt that my experience to date working with clients would be very translatable to that career path but I was still lacking some of the analytical and networking skills that an MBA could provide. I was also starting to manage people and felt that taking the time to discover and understand my leadership style during an MBA program would help propel me even further in my career.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, Virgina Darden, NYU Stern and Georgetown McDonough
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? One of the most challenging questions I received was, “If you had one minute in front of the admissions committee right now, what would you tell them?”
How did you determine your fit at various schools? It was important for me to attend a top-20 school so I could give myself the best chance at switching into investment banking. As a result, I started with popular lists from U.S. News and Bloomberg. From there, I narrowed the list down to schools I felt I had a decent chance of getting into based on my credentials. Geography was a big factor and I focused on East Coast programs – preferably ones where the campus was removed from a large city so that I could spend two years really focusing on my business school network and studies. I then made it a priority to speak with students in the programs so I could get a sense of the culture and whether my career goals were attainable. I also used websites such as GMAT Club and Clear Admit to get an even better idea of what the programs were like. I chose to interview on campus as well so I could interact with faculty in-person.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was sophomore year during my undergraduate degree. I was deciding whether I wanted to major in business or not and was faced with doing an unpaid summer internship at a reputable wealth management firm or a paid internship at a company I was unfamiliar with. While it would have been prudent to make some additional money that summer, I chose the unpaid position because I felt it was a better opportunity to learn about the industry that intrigued me. Sure enough, I have spent my six-year career working in wealth management because of that internship! Sometimes, risks are worth taking and, as a business school student, you are setting aside two years to bet on yourself to find out what your passion is.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them?Apple has always been a company I admired because they are constantly innovating. The company also seems to always put the right people in their leadership positions. I think business students should understand that innovation is key to long-term success for a company and good leaders can always help drive that process. Working on leadership skills during the MBA program is an important focus to have.
DON’T MISS: Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class Of 2022