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Luanne Zurlow
Latin America Equity Analyst

"There is a lot of publicity, freedom and power, and this is interesting work."

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

My interest in politics and economics led to my interest in emerging markets. I decided early on I wanted to be working in international finance specifically in Latin America. Once I had made that decision, the path became clearer for me. I interviewed with all the major firms and I chose the firm I felt had the best footing and programs in place for Latin America, which turned out to be Morgan Stanley at that time.

How did you get your big breaks?

I participated in a recruitment session Morgan Stanley had at my school.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

For the first year- forget about a social life. It turned out to be two years really. Knowing that going in, helped me cope. I can't say I didn't know what I was getting into: high stress, fast pace. As a first year-you're a grunt, saddled with tons of junk work. But you learn a great deal during that time and the pay is excellent.

What have you learned from your experience?

For international positions languages are essential! People you'll be working with and the prestige of firm are more important when you first start out. Don't let salary influence you decision-you'll do better in a place where you're happier and consequently the money will come in time as you gain experience.

What most excites you about your job right now?

There is a lot of publicity, freedom and power, and this is interesting work. Also, I get to meet with CFO's on a regular basis. It's not as glamorous on a day to day basis as it sounds because of the long hours and the travel can get tiresome.

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