Name: Gabriela D. Guaita Saba

Baruch College (Degree Obtained): International Business (BBA)
Company: Goldman Sachs
Title: Operations Analyst

Graduation Year(s): 2017
School (if applicable) within Baruch College: Zicklin School of Business

1. Please briefly describe your current profession/activities in-detail including your responsibilities and/or tasks.

At its core, being an Operations Professional in the financial industry means to manage the risks that arise from participating in financial transactions (i.e. trading financial products/securities). We enable the trade flow throughout its lifecycle, and, simultaneously, strive to streamline the processes and systems that we use in order to better serve our clients and reduce risk exposure. In a nutshell, Operations Professionals develop the processes and controls that enable the business flow.

My team, known as Client Onboarding, is responsible for helping our clients get ready to transact (i.e. trade) by opening accounts where a trade can be allocated. This is very important because a trade will fail if it cannot be allocated to an account before the settlement time, which, among others, creates financial, regulatory, and reputational risks. The account opening process is one of the first stages in a trade's lifecycle. In the process, we make sure that the client is compliant with the different regulations that apply for the type of account(s) that they wish to open. This depends on the underlying financial product(s). We provide the clients with the applicable documents/requirements that need to be filled/completed. In addition, we make sure that we obtain the relevant information required to perform a full KYC/AML (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundry) review before opening the account(s). Likewise, my team serves as a primary point of contact between the client and the other stakeholders (teams) that participate in the account opening process. Other Client Onboarding non-day-to-day responsibilities vary depending on different projects, which can include data collection and data analysis, tech enhancements, or procedures updates.

2. Please briefly describe your career path to-date, including the reasons behind career changes you made since graduating from Baruch College.

I recently graduated from Baruch College, on December of last year. Despite of just having starting my professional career, I had different opportunities that helped me realize that I wanted to be in Operations. Last summer, before my last semester at Baruch, I had the opportunity to intern as summer operations analyst in the team that I currently am a full-time analyst. Before that, I had the opportunity to work as operations coordinator in a family-owned company called Beauty Solutions. I had joined the Beauty Solutions team as an export documentation project intern in the 2015 summer. Upon completion of the project, there was a need in the operations department and I was asked if I was interested in a part-time position during the school year. I stayed in the company as a part-time employee thorough the remainder of my undergrad career. Thanks to those opportunities, I discovered my passion for operations.

3. How did your experiences at Baruch College (e.g., academic studies, extra-curricular activities, student groups) prepare you for your career?

Throughout my time at Baruch, I was presented with many opportunities that helped me prepare for my professional life. They go beyond learning hard skills such as excel, math, etc. that are needed to succeed in the workplace.

Academically, Baruch places a high emphasis on group projects. I cannot stress enough how learning to work with others and the many different skills associated with group projects facilities the transition to the workplace. Similarly, the diversity of the student body and faculty at Baruch allowed me to constantly interact with and learn from people of different backgrounds. Currently, in my day-to-day job, I have to interact with colleagues and clients from all over the world, so having that exposure early on helped me to develop sensitivity and awareness to different communication styles.

Moreover, in the fall of 2014, I had the opportunity to study abroad as an exchange student in the Berlin School of Economics and Law. I spent 6 months in Berlin, and interned during 3 of those in a services company called Baruch has a study abroad office that does a tremendous job in providing students with opportunities. Being immersed and exposed to a completely different school system and work culture taught me adaptability, a skill/attitude that I find very useful in my day-to-day.

Outside the classroom, I had the opportunity to join and take on leadership roles in different student organizations. I was part of the e-board of TSO (The Transfer Student Organization) where I was part of the events committee, Baruch GLASS (The Gender, Love, and Sexuality Spectrum) where I acted as Treasurer, and ALPFA Baruch (The Association of Latino Professionals for America) where I was part of the marketing and treasury committees. Additionally, I was in invited to join Golden Key International Honour Society. Among others, these experiences across student organizations helped me to learn how to deal with vendors, develop and improve organizational skills, email etiquette, excel skills, analytical skills, and communication skills. Beyond that, they helped me to develop soft skills and build strong relationships with peers that I now consider close friends. I believe it is important to highlight how ALPFA and other student organizations helped me build my resume, prepare for job interviews, and connect with other students and professionals that provided and continue to provide guidance in being a professional in Corporate America.

4. What job resources (e.g., internships, work-study jobs, summer and/or other work opportunities, etc.) have influenced your career choice(s)?

As mentioned before, my time as operations coordinator at Beauty Solutions greatly influenced my career choice. Moreover, during the 2015 ALPFA National Convention, a multi-day event where many companies and industry leaders come together to help, promote, and develop Hispanic/Latino talent, I had the opportunity to interact with many Operations Professionals, which re-affirmed my strong interest in Operations.

5. Today, what advice would you give to an undergraduate or graduate Baruch student interested in your field?

The role of an Operations Professional varies widely depending on the industry. Nonetheless, a common objective can be observed everywhere; an Operations Professional enables the flow of business by making sure everything runs smoothly in an efficient and effective manner. Some industries with more operations-intensive roles include financial services, manufacturing, transportation, retail, telecommunications, and health care. My first advice is to identify the industries you would like to work in by doing research, and if possible reaching out to people in the field, to clarify the difference between operations in the financial industry vs. the transportation industry, or retail industry, etc. After narrowing down the industries, identifying your skills, and what you enjoy doing, start applying to opportunities. If you are still at Baruch, get involved with the student organizations and start as early as possible. Connect with industry professionals, not only recruiters. Apply to different opportunities and do not overlook smaller companies during the job search. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Remember to be humble and help others as well.

6. What do you like to do in your free time?

My favorite thing to do during my free time is backpacking (travel). I have backpacked in Europe and Asia, and can’t wait for my next adventure. I also like to dance, do karaoke, spend time with my friends and family, and play domino.

How can people reach you?

Email: [email protected]