My career path: From Columbia to Credit Suisse

During my time at Columbia University and since I graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1997, I’ve taken on 10 different jobs. Here, I retrace the steps I’ve taken in my career as a consultant, investment banker, CFO, and entrepreneur.

A.T. Kearney

Upon graduation from Columbia, I joined management consulting firm A.T. Kearney in Chicago because I wanted to apply the analytical problem-solving techniques I developed at school to business situations in a team environment. I joined A.T. Kearney as a Business Analyst and was promoted first to Associate, and then to Manager. At that point, a typical job after college had become my career. During my time in there, I completed over 20 business strategy, operations, and financial management consulting engagements for clients in 10 different industries. The work was something I enjoyed, but I wasn’t sure if it was a lifelong career.

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

After six years in consulting, I left for business school at Duke University. As a private pilot, an airline career was a dream. At Duke, I met with seven people who had interned with airlines during business school. However, six of them joined consulting firms or investment banks after graduation. I recognized the risk of a career in the bankruptcy-prone airline industry and instead pursed investment banking, hoping to be a financial advisor to airlines.

Credit Suisse

After graduating with an MBA in finance in 2005, I joined Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) in New York as an Associate and rotated through the Restructuring Group and Energy Group during my first year. In 2006, I initiated a transfer from Credit Suisse’s New York office to the Chicago office which specialized in two areas I was interested in: industrials and airlines. In 2010, I again initiated a transfer from Chicago to Singapore, as the vice president of the Investment Banking department.

This post has been adapted from the second in a five-part interview conducted by Columbia University Centre for Career Education.

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