Ander Iruretagoyena

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Ander Iruretagoyena 

BA Latin American Studies 2016

Investment Banking Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BA Thesis: "A Spectrum of Violence: The Sinaloa Cartel, The Knights Templar Cartel, and The Zetas"

Q: Can you describe what you do as an Investment Banking Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch?

A: At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, I sit in the Equity Capital Market desk. In essence, I help companies from all different industries within Latin America gain access to equity markets. We help with Initial Public Offerings, follow on offerings, or any other equity product. We guide companies through the process by teaching them what is on investors’ minds and helping them position themselves by aligning valuation to market sentiment.

Q: What surprised you the most about this job?

A: I knew this job would involve long hours, but the actual experience of working long hours surprised me.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: Getting to listen to decision-makers all over the world, be exposed to how they think, and how they drive their business plan.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job? 

A: It can be difficult to approach the more mundane or routine parts of the job with a positive attitude and high energy.

Q: How did your LACS degree help you prepare for this job?

A: My Latin American Studies major helped a lot! 60% of my day is in Spanish and some of it is even in Portuguese. Besides language skills, gaining more knowledge of the region makes it easier to interact with people from all over Latin America. In addition, the research and analytical skills I learned through the major come in very handy.

Q: What skills do you believe are most important for finding a career in your field? 

A: Determination, attention to detail, and time management.

Q: Do you have any general advice for other BA students interested in entering a similar field? Interested in pursuing Latin American Studies?

Make sure you have a genuine interest in this type of career. This job can be difficult, so make sure you are getting into it for the right reasons.