Second Year student Andres Barbara Mijares (Class of 2019) studied engineering in Mexico City as an undergrad. Upon graduation, he worked as an investment analyst and focused on fixed income at the biggest pension fund in the country, Citibanamex. He continued to work in the financial industry as a trader and portfolio manager for several years before deciding to pursue his MBA at Darden. Above is a view of Mexico City from the Credit Suisse office building where Andres interned over the summer.

Why Darden?

I chose Darden because the school has all that I was looking for – a smaller class size, located in a small green city, and a competitive but friendly atmosphere. All of these factors encouraged me to believe that, in addition to the great learning experience through the case method and my learning team, I was also going to have a good time making great friends and have memorable stories to tell about the 21 months I would spend there. I haven’t been wrong so far!

What interested you in an internship with Credit Suisse over the summer?

After talking with many of the recruiting banks and mulling over the differences between them and their offers, I decided that Credit Suisse would be a great place to do my internship. What drew me to them was the people I met during my interview process – how friendly and candid they were and how their demeanor revealed the company culture. My ten weeks at Credit Suisse confirmed all of my initial impressions of the company; all of their employees with whom I worked, from the CEO to the analysts, were friendly and helpful, and the employees were close friends with each other, more than simply coworkers. Having an opportunity to work in a place where everyone is willing to help and guide you is really unique and I am very thankful to have had this experience.

The MBA internship program at Credit Suisse also gave me the opportunity to interact with people from across the world via weekly calls but also from all different of the areas in the bank, including human resources, legal, relationship management and asset management. These opportunities have really helped me get a grasp of the whole company, how it all operates together, and where I would best fit in.

Andres (center) with friends on a trip to Tulum, Mexico

What has working in Mexico City over the summer been like?

Even though I have lived most of my life in Mexico City, I very much appreciated being here with my family and friends over the summer. Interacting with the amazing people of Mexico City, enjoying the phenomenal restaurant scene, and, above all, being a short drive or plane ride away from destinations like Tulum, San Miguel and Valle de Bravo are all great reasons to spend some time in Mexico City.

How has your Darden experience helped you during this internship?

During my internship I had the chance to interact with all areas of the bank while working on my business plan and other projects, and although this was daunting at first, I discovered that my first year at Darden had prepared me really well to manage my time amid all of these projects. Darden’s First Year core courses, and especially the case method style of teaching, taught me to listen, learn about the issue at hand, propose possible solutions and interpret which solution would be best to pursue, and I had the chance to do just that in meetings about things I have never even heard about before. Darden’s case method and the way it helped me dissect different problems and arrive at possible solutions truly made me add value during my summer internship.

What have been the principle takeaways from your internship experience?

The main takeaways that I gathered are to always be friendly with everybody and, if possible, do something to make their jobs easier, and to always keep learning. Because of this mindset, I learned a lot more during these last ten weeks than I had in the past couple of years in my previous job. Lastly, through recruiting for this internship I learned that when considering a new job opportunity, it is important to not only look at the job description but to also try to get to know the workplace culture and the day-to-day environment of the office.

What are you looking forward to the most in your second year at Darden?

I am looking forward to spending more time with my friends, enjoying and exploring Charlottesville, taking a ski trip or two, and engaging with professors and students in the classroom during my final year.