My Education: BA, Economics And Political Science, Claremont McKenna College MBA, Finance, New York University
My Prior Experience: I have worked as a credit officer for parts of the past four decades.
My Company: Both of my employers have been global banks with offices around the world.
Job/Career Overview: My job is to identify, quantify, approve and manage credit risk around the world and across currencies for a major bank. The work day is 12 hours, from closing in Asia through closing in Europe to closing in New York. There is significant travel involved, so my days are driven by access to our internal credit approvals system.
A typical day has my team matching incoming funds from Japan, for example, with disbursements in euros in London and dollars in New York. In a world of batch processing, that can take some time. At the end of the day, the bank needs to be match-funded so we work with the internal treasury folks to be sure the money is correct and in the right place by 6PM.
Working with central banks (like the Federal Reserve), we monitor the bank's collateral levels with the various settlements. This ensures that checks are paid when presented, payrolls are processed on the correct date and large inter-bank payments are made on time.
The toughest parts of the job are time and people. Time because the job is 24/7 so you need to be available and be informed all the time. Internal systems for the most part are batched outside the US, Europe and Japan. And information is only as good as the terminals. People because there are never enough qualified individuals to manage all the stuff on our collective plates. Training and retention of people are key attributes for a manager.
1. To work in a global business you need to know geography and history. Most people are proud of their country and you will win kudos if you know more than how to order from a restaurant menu.
2. Read widely and from varied sources. Too many Americans are happy with the US media's view of the world, which is how they make their money but not how you can know and understand global trends. I've always found the "Economist" to be the best weekly magazine.
3. Take a course in accounting or finance to learn the language of business. Most of what you learn in business is on-the-job, but it helps if you don't need a refresher course in terminology walking in the door.