Gustavo Mena was the Chair of the Young Professionals Committee from 2015 to 2016, responsible for planning and leading the 7th Annual Bootcamp. Gustavo attended the Latinos in Finance Bootcamp while a senior in college, and graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2014 with a B.Sc. in the Accounting and a minor in Mathematics. Gustavo worked at Deloitte as a Senior Audit Assistant in Deloitte’s Investment Management group, and joined Cohen Capital Management as an Equity Research Analyst Intern this past summer. Gustavo is a student at Princeton University’s Masters in Finance program, with an expected graduation date of 2018. He is currently applying for summer internships, and can be reached via e-mail at Gmena@princeton.edu.
Q: How did you get involved in Latinos in Finance? How did you get into planning the Bootcamp?
A: As a senior in college, I heard about a finance Bootcamp for Latinos. I figured I would learn a little bit about the application of finance in the real world, but I didn't expect that I would be inspired to reach the top of the finance field. I figured if a Latino could be a CIO or CEO, then I could too. I knew then that Latinos in Finance was a special organization that I had to stay in touch with. When the opportunity came to me to lead the Bootcamp the next year as a fresh college graduate, I took it.
Q: While you were planning the Bootcamp, what part were you most excited about seeing come into fruition?
A: I really wanted to share the same feeling of amazement that I felt as a college student with all the attendees. I wanted to inspire others as I was inspired. I think we did accomplish that feat through the speakers that presented on finance topics and their own careers. The lineup was truly spectacular, and once again showed me that the finance talent in the Latino community runs very deeply.
Q: What advice would you give students to build off what they learned at the Bootcamp?
A: I think that learning content is one thing and that's what we have historically offered at Bootcamps. If students are truly interested in finance and in learning about it in a non-superficial way then they should go far. Finance can be so general, so when someone can demonstrate a deep knowledge of the markets then I am very impressed. There is also the aspect of building relationships with people that share similar interests. I kept in touch with people from Latinos in Finance that I met as a college student. Beyond that, I was also grateful for the effort that Latinos in Finance members put into running the Bootcamp, which was a factor for me becoming involved with Latinos in Finance as much as I was. Being grateful has kept me grounded, which can be tough when you are surrounded by very intelligent and wealthy people. Besides that, be bold and ask for what you want.
Q: What was your favorite experience in LiF outside of the Bootcamp?
A: The reason I was so involved with Latinos in Finance was because of the people that were in the organization. Latinos in Finance has very intelligent, grateful, and compassionate people. I enjoyed the time I spent with the members in and out of Latinos in Finance events and made some great friendships.
Q: What benefits does staying involved with LiF have on the development of a young professional's career? What positive benefits did it have for you?
A: Transitioning into the professional world is tough, so the people I met through the organization really helped me to lead a more fulfilling life by getting involved. At the same time, I was encouraged to continue my education. I probably wouldn't have applied to Princeton's Masters in Finance program had I not had conversations with the past President of LIF, Kennie Blanco. You don’t really know what to expect with organizations and relationships in general, but with good intentions and an open mind you'll be surprised by the benefits that you never expected or sought out.