Where could your MIM take you? Meet Jose Bedoya, Global and LATAM Industry Analyst at Citi.
1. How would you summarize your time as an IE student?
My time as an IE student was a great experience. I had the chance to share the classroom with people from over 30 nationalities with diverse professional and personal aspirations, some of whom are my colleagues at Citi today (in Switzerland, Dubai, and Mexico). The curriculum is very well designed because it provides students a well-rounded taste of different business areas (marketing, finance, accounting, negotiation, or entrepreneurship among others), blending theory with real-life case studies which are discussed in the classroom. The faculty members are truly world-class professionals who take the learning experience to the next level.
When you have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many cultures, ethnicities, religions, and walks of life, you not only gain a larger family, but you create connections that mean so much. The IE experience was not only confined to the four walls of the classroom. The program offers unique opportunities to allow students to differentiate themselves and become more competitive candidates towards their career goals.
For example, I joined the IE Latin Business Club, which was mainly composed of grad students from the International MBA program. I even had the chance become president in my last semester. Besides organizing fantastic conferences with business and political leaders of the region, I also developed long-lasting friendships.
Another contributing factor that made my experience a great one was that IE is based in a very international city that has many things to offer. Many students, including myself, had a great time enjoying the nightlife, football (it is prohibited to call it “soccer”), fantastic restaurants, and people with a vivacious mindset living every day to the fullest.
- How did you land this opportunity (referring to current position)?
Right after my graduation, I moved to Miami to look for a job in Finance. Miami seemed to be a great location as it is the base for many banks managing Latin American clients. I graduated in July from IE and the Analyst programs typically begin in June, so the timing was an obstacle. However, I had the opportunity to take a job in a Big Four consulting and auditing firm. While working for that company, I was able to elaborate an strategy on how to land a bank job in the next hiring season.
My professional network was aware of what I was looking for, and one month after I started in my role in auditing, a friend working at Citi called and told me about an internship program. Although I wanted an Analyst role at the time, I saw this as a great opportunity to “get my foot in the door” and later land a job as an analyst.
While doing my internship I made sure to go above and beyond, network with as many people as possible, and work every day as if it was my first day on the job. Six months later I was offered a rotational analyst position in Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), a branch of the Institutional Client Group, covering all of Latin America. After two initial rotations in the Financial Institutions and Cross Border Payments teams, I am finishing my last rotation in Sales as the “right hand” of the Global Head of Sales for Energy, Power, and Chemicals and LATAM head of Industrials for TTS.
- What motivated you to work at this company?
My friends working at Citi always spoke very well of the organization. Being the most global bank and having the reputation of the ” Best Banking School” also influenced my decision to join Citi. I was motivated by the great collaboration among different segments of the bank, ranging from Corporate and Investment Banking to Consumer Banking. I also appreciate the fact that knowledge and best practices sharing is part of the global culture.
There is always a new project to implement or strategy to develop and execute. There is a great team of senior managers who are always striving to be the best for our clients and train the bankers of the future.
- What’s your role? What is the next step in your professional career?
I’m currently finishing my third year an analyst, and the next step in my career is a position as an AVP within TTS or elsewhere in the Institutional Client Group. I am also very interested in financial markets and wealth management, so I do not discard the possibility of moving to private banking. Whatever the future holds for me, I will make sure that it is a role where I continue to learn everyday.
- What would you like to transmit to potential candidates that look up to you?
I would recommend being fully committed and certain of what they want. If that is the case, they can always find a way to obtain their goals, even if the journey is not as they planned. There is always something we can do as potential candidates to become more attractive to the company we want to work for, like taking a course or contacting your network.
- What challenges have you faced?
I faced a steep learning curve because we hit the ground running from day one. This is especially challenging when rotating teams every 6 months. However, every rotation was a new opportunity to learn and add value to different parts of the organization. At the end of the analyst program, you are a well-rounded analyst who can add value directly or indirectly pretty much anywhere.
- How did your experience at IE during the MIM help you to join this company?
IE encouraged me to network efficiently, which is extremely important while applying to jobs. My specialization (Financial Management & Control) gave me an edge to work in the finance industry. Being part (and president in the last 6 months) of the Latin American Business Club was appealing to my employer because it showed that I could effectively work with people from Latin America as well as Europe.
Also, one of the most important things I learned at IE is to present clearly and concisely. At the start, it can be somewhat intimidating, but after a couple of days all that shyness goes away and you become a great presenter. The same happens at big companies like Citi.
- Any advice for current students?
- Make the most out of your year at IE, it goes by extremely fast.
- Learn as much as possible.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities.
- Most importantly: Network, Network, Network.