February 14, 2017 by texasbbacareerservices
Zoë (Gerachis) Dobbs
Finance; May 2015
Middle Market Banking Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Explain your career path and how you got to JPMC
As I’m sure many of you all know, in BA 101, Career Services encourages you to apply for summer internships to start building your resume and discover what careers fit your interests and your skill set. To be completely honest, I felt very unqualified for the positions my peers were pursuing since my understanding of finance felt so new and underdeveloped. Instead, I spent my first two summers working at a summer camp and doing a McCombs study abroad program in Copenhagen. I continued to focus in my classes and reached out to upperclassman regularly to get a better understanding of the internships and opportunities they experienced. Then, heeding their advice and encouragement, the summer after Junior year I interned at a commercial real estate company in Houston. I spent the summer working across two groups – Investment Sales and Agency Leasing. Investment sales exposed me to the financial intricacies of real estate, while agency leasing focused more on the leasing of commercial real estate to businesses for commercial use. I discovered I wanted to develop a broad financial skillset and learn about other industries along the way. I connected with a Senior Banker in J.P. Morgan Chase’s (“JPMC”) Middle Market just before senior year and she provided an overview of the business. Middle Market banking targets companies who generate $20 – $500 million in annual revenue and is part of JPMC’s Commercial Bank. The Commercial Bank provides customized financial solutions for companies’ day-to-day operations and expansion opportunities and works with multiple partners throughout the bank to accomplish their clients’ goals.
What do you like about working for JPMC?
Despite employing 200+ thousand people, JPMC still feels small. Each group feels like its own business within the greater bank. From my first day, I was known by my colleagues and truly felt they were there as a resource to help me develop professionally. An exciting part of the job was the 8-week training program in Chicago where I trained alongside 35 new analysts across the nation, many of whom are now amongst my great friends. After training, I felt prepared to start my job. One of the greatest benefits to working for an organization as large as JPMC is mobility opportunities. Be it location or job function, there are endless options and many examples of people at JPMC who have experienced various different opportunities in the bank.
What does your job look like/what does it take to be successful?
We model, create pitch-books and power point decks for internal and external meetings, and perform written analysis of business performance and industry trends. Top performers are inquisitive, understand and enjoy finance, take initiative, and communicate effectively. I would highly encourage you to “be a sponge” and embrace that everyone around you expects you have things to learn. But, they want to teach you. The day you stop believing you can learn, is the day you stop getting better.
General career advice
It’s ok if at 20 years old, you don’t know what your dream job is. It’s ok to have lots of interests and be passionate about things/issues/initiatives that, at first glance, don’t look like they go together. I am almost 24 years old and I still don’t know what my dream job is, but I do know this – I love coming to work everyday. I love the people I work with. I feel challenged and stimulated 9 times out of 10 in my job. Be inquisitive – people appreciate when you take the initiative to learn more. It takes six months to feel settled and to feel like you have the hang of things, so be patient. Finally, no matter where you work, prioritize a culture where you are constantly invested in as young talent. You want your superiors to treat you as an asset – challenging you beyond what you think you can do while also developing you holistically as a professional.