2017 Success Stories

At the end of 2016, we launched the LIF Select Mentorship Program to help provide students with the knowledge and preparation to successfully transition into the finance industry and excel early on in their career.

Our 2016-2017 inaugural class of 45+ mentees was paired with experienced finance professionals to participate in a flexible, one year program. Mentors were tasked with providing career guidance on topics such as networking, interviewing and resume building. LIF's first year of facilitating this program was impactful so we highlighted some of the success stories below. As the 2016-2017 program comes to a close, we look forward to reopening applications to the next round of applicants in September 2017. Thank you to all mentors!

Prospective mentors and mentees can find more information on the program here.

- LIF Select Mentorship Program Team: Abraham Villarreal, Yacquelin Cervantes and Andrew Kaban


Gloria Lopez Obeso

Gloria grew up in Plymouth, CA and is a recent graduate of UC Davis. While at UC Davis, she studied International Relations and developed an interest in finance. Vanessa Hartigan, a Director of Relationship Management at Merrill Lynch, was her mentor during the mentorship program. Gloria recently secured a Financial Analyst position at Wells Fargo.

“Vanessa was a very useful resource to learn about the finance industry. She directly impacted my experience to prepare for interviews.”

Anastacio Serrano

Anastacio grew up in San Francisco, CA and is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University and studied finance. Abraham Villarreal, Transaction Specialist at CBRE, was his mentor during the mentorship program. With the support of Abraham, Anastacio secured an internship that turned into a full-time analyst position at Credible.

“My experience with the mentorship program was very rewarding and allowed me to prepare for the real world after college. With the help of my mentor, Abraham, I was able to land an internship in the fintech Industry which turned into a permanent position.”

Kevin Capiz

Kevin grew up in King City, CA and is a rising senior at Stanford University studying Mathematical & Computational Science. Charles Jung, Research Analyst at Cohen Capital Management, was his mentor during the mentorship program. Kevin recently held a Summer Internship position at BlackRock.

“My experience with the mentorship program has been great. It was through LIF’s correspondence that I learned about the opportunity with BlackRock and about the BlackRock Founder’s Scholarship. Without LIF’s support and education, I believe becoming a Founder’s Scholar would have been a missed opportunity.”

Danelis Padron

Danelis grew up in Sacramento, CA and is a recent MBA graduate from Mills College. At Mills, Danelis emphasized her studies in finance and developed a passion for it. Claudia Rivas, Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, was her mentor during the mentorship program. With the help of Claudia, she secured a Financial Advisor position at Merrill Lynch.

“My mentor, Claudia Rivas, not only guided me throughout the entire job application process, but she believed in me during the times I didn’t believe in myself. Accompanied by her constant positivity and abundant knowledge, I persistently networked and interviewed for jobs that I considered were “out of my league”, successfully landing my first full-time job at Merrill Lynch.”

Elsa Mora

Elsa grew up in Sacramento, CA and graduated from Brown University in the Spring of 2015. At Brown, Elsa studied International Relations & Economics. Valerie Wong, Senior Associate at MSCI and President of LIF, was her mentor during the mentorship program. Elsa recently landed a Sales Digital Analyst position at Univision.

"The guidance and support I have received from my mentor, Valerie Wong, has been invaluable. From career advice to helping me prepare for interviews, Valerie has been someone whom I can count on.”

Jason Soriano

Jason grew up in East Liverpool, OH and is a junior studying finance at San Francisco State University. Bryan Chung, Manager of Strategy & Business Development at GAP, was his mentor through the LIF Select Mentorship Program. With the help of Bryan, he secured a Summer Analyst investment banking position at True Blue Partners.

"This program wasn’t merely a way for me to get a job – it was a channel that connected me with someone who has been in my shoes, ultimately empowering me to be proactive with my goals."