Career

Student Success Story: Alex Gutierrez

I’m Alexander Gutierrez, from Morgantown, West Virginia and an alumnus of West Virginia University where I studied business administration. I am excited to share my experience in the M.S. in Global Commerce, why I chose to pursue the Program, and my job search process.

I’m Alexander Gutierrez, from Morgantown, West Virginia and an alumnus of West Virginia University where I studied business administration. I am excited to share my experience in the M.S. in Global Commerce, why I chose to pursue the Program, and my job search process. I hope to provide insights into the resources and challenges students may encounter during the fall recruiting season at the University of Virginia.

I first learned about the M.S. in Global Commerce early in my senior year and knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for my background, interests, and career goals. I had studied abroad twice during undergrad and wanted to continue traveling and studying. My family is extremely international, so I’ve always been encouraged to explore new cultures. I also knew it was important to prepare myself for a work environment that is becoming increasingly global. The M.S. in Global Commerce allows me to study at schools in the U.S., China, and Spain, so I was ecstatic when I received my acceptance letter.

In the months leading up to the Program, I prepped for technical finance and case study interviews. I conducted dozens of hours of informational interviews as well to expand my network and better understand the recruiting process at different companies. I was determined to land a job in investment banking or corporate finance.

When the fall term started, I felt confident in my ability to navigate the plethora of career fairs and recruiting events that were available through the McIntire School of Commerce. I attended every event my schedule allowed, and after months of applications and interviews, my hard work finally paid off.

During one of the on-campus career fairs, I met an M.S. in Global Commerce alum who convinced me to apply to Carnival Cruise Line’s Corporate Rotational Program, a two-year program that rotates through different departments like finance, analytics, marketing, human resources, and corporate strategy. I had never thought about the cruise line industry before, but hearing about his experience and Carnival’s growth motivated me to apply.

Throughout the interview process, I was able to use skills I was learning in the classroom. For one interview, I applied topics from our Analysis for Decision Making class by using multiple regressions and Tableau software to conduct analysis and create a presentation. During the final round of on-site interviews at Carnival’s headquarters in Miami, I leaned on my classroom case study experience to complete two technical interviews. One week later, I received the job offer. I was thrilled.

To recap my job search process, I sent out more than 100 applications and completed over 20 interviews with different banks, asset management firms, Fortune 500 companies, and even hedge funds. It was a grueling fall semester. I was inevitably successful because of the vast amount of interview practice, McIntire resources, networking and mentorship opportunities, and skills I learned in the Program. My takeaway advice is to never give up, prepare in advance as much as possible, and keep an open mind.

I would be happy to speak more with anyone who has questions about the M.S. in Global Commerce or recruiting process. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or via email.

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