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Theresa Gotto

I had wanted to go into law, but I really like business, so I changed gears and went into banking.

As children, we're all asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How did you answer?

A lawyer.

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

Decided I wanted to learn about the private sector and that banking would be a great way to learn about companies and finance. I had wanted to go into law, but I really like business, so I changed gears and went into banking.

How did you get your big breaks?

Recruiters from several firms came to my campus. I had worked with the career services office to make sure my resume was updated and available for them to see. From there, I was contacted by the firms that wanted to meet with me. I met with them on campus and did a first round of interviews there. When those went well, I was invited to interview more intensly at the company offices. It took time, but having the access to start the process from school helped me to get a start.

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

Participate in career fairs on campus. In real life, companies don't come to you, so take advantage of the opportunity.

What have you learned from your experience?

There is a lot of teamwork, much more than I realized initially. This profession requires personal stamina and dedication to succeed. ?Also, people say you won't have a social life for the first year, maybe two. That's not always the case. You can maintain a social life, but a lot of socializing is with your analyst class- it's kind of like college because you're all in it together. The training program can be a bonding experience.?It's most inmportant to be working on live deals- everything is transaction oriented and if you're not working on an interesting transaction, you can get stuck with more boring crap work.?It helps if you take math classes or at least some economics. Try to demonstrate some interest in finance. The best is if you have at least a 3.5 GPA for the Ivy league, and a 3.8 from other places to get in this industry.

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