My name is Juan Pablo Duque and I am a sophomore majoring in Finance with a double minor in Accounting and Economics.
I was born and raised in Colombia until 2004 when my family moved to Miami in an effort, by my parents, to expand my horizons.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to acquire an encompassing education at the University of Miami and have been determined to take advantage of all of the resources it provides. As a result of that goal and the exposure towards the financial industry from the School of Business Administration and my selfless mentors, I began growing an interest for Investment banking.
Since last summer, I have devoted my time to learn more about the field and tried positioning myself for a role in that area, therefore when presented with the chance to broaden my understanding of a global career in finance, I did not hesitate to apply.
In a retrospective analysis of my experience in the London Career Crawl, an immersive trip abroad presented through the Toppel Career Center, I have nothing but positive conclusions. It was a tremendous learning experience. Not only were we lucky enough to visit incredible businesses in London, but the individuals who spoke to us left very lasting impressions. Naming them and their titles, does not do justice to the amount of knowledge that they possessed as experts in their respective fields, but to put into perspective, we sat down with people like, Robert Rooney, Morgan Stanley’s EMEA CEO; Edward Wertheim, Corsair Capital’s Vice President (Private Equity firm); and more people in exec suites.
These interactions were incredibly valuable because of the genuine interest of these individuals to share their experiences and answer our questions. Luckily for me, although there was substance for students from every major to draw from, as a finance major, I acquired critical perspectives to guide my career in the right direction that also confirmed my inclination towards IB.
In general though, every single speaker was very impressive and provided influential messages.
Besides the strictly educational aspect, we were also emerged in London’s culture. Even in a super eventful week, filled with numerous company visits, we managed to attend a couple of receptions and do some sightseeing. At the receptions, we had the opportunity to speak with locals who had been successful in building a new home in a very diverse place like London. The overall feedback was that it is a fairly welcoming city with lots of history and countless things to do. Finally, after having visited the Royal Academy of Arts and the English National Opera throughout the week, we got on the London Eye to appreciate the city we had explored, from above.
The timing of the trip added an interesting factor, since we got the opportunity to see the city before the reality of Article 50. In many conversations with employers, as well as in receptions, I addressed the elephant in the room, Brexit. Everyone agreed that no one really knows what is going to happen. Rooney, with Morgan Stanley, said people will need to “adapt to the changes.” I agree that it is still too early to predict the implications of the separation, but I would love to go back in a few years and draw my own conclusions.
I recommend this experience to anyone, since whether we like it or not, we live in an interconnected world and this trip gives you a real taste of it.
A huge thank you to Colin Potter, Hilary Kautter Allsopp, and all the other individuals who put time and effort into this impactful experience.