On the 20th of October, at the semi-circular IE conference room in Maria de Molina 27, a mix of current and potential IE students gathered to listen to the Master in Finance Academic Director and partner of the boutique investment firm Arcano, Ignacio de La Torre along with Leopoldo Torralba, Senior Strategic planning Analyst at Ahorro Corporacion. The conference dealt with the two distinct banking areas of investment and commercial banking, the profiles these companies look for and a normal career progression within them.
Ignacio spoke about his personal path. How a History undergraduate student, who had a passion for this industry began his career days after graduating from college and is now partner of a successful investment firm. What he emphasized was that you should only get into banking if you have a passion for numbers and analysis. If not, you will not make it. The inherent long hours can only be endured by this natural drive. If not, you will be unhappy and most likely not progress in this sector.
Leopoldo focused more on the technical aspects of commercial banking and its differences with investment banking. Adding to the main speakers were former Master in International Management and Master in Finance students: Alejandro Casado Martin and Maria Martinez Gomez. Alejandro currently working at Santander, graduated in December 2009 and told the audience about the inter departmental career progression that is available at large banks such as Santander, not to mention the possibility for geographic mobility. Maria calmed the nervousness of some banking aspirants in the audience, by saying that many banks were hiring and growing in spite of the financial crisis, giving as an example her employer: Banesto bank.
There were many questions at the end. They dealt with how to enter the finance world and the experiences of the IE graduates. In conclusion, participants were able to in about 1 hour and half, gain a strong overview of what it takes to enter and make it in the banking industry.