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Columbia ERM Graduates from HSBC Brazil and Morgan Stanley Share Career Advice

Recent Enterprise Risk Management graduates Moby Ansari, Ankit Gupta, and Fabio Weizenmann shared career advice and insights from their experiences as students during a Featured Alumni Series panel event on September 14th. H.S. Bob Kostakopoulos, the Deputy Program Director and Lecturer, moderated the event.

 "Experienced professors can offer valuable advice on job seeking."

Ankit Gupta, who is a Senior Associate in Morgan Stanley’s Fraud Risk unit, as well as the other panelists reported utilizing a combination of Columbia’s resources to support them in landing their current roles. Seeking career advice from professors in particular, Gupta said, was very helpful. “I once sought advice from the professors. For example, I was to be interviewed by a community bank. I sought advice from Professor Bob [Kostakopoulos] since he used to run three community banks.”

“Columbia was able to give me the language to speak as a credible person in the risk management space.”

Spring 2021 graduate Moby Ansari spoke about the challenges she faced as someone seeking a career change. Prior to Columbia, she’d worked in investment banking and lacked experience in risk management. “I didn’t really speak the language of risk management… Columbia was able to give me the language to speak as a credible person in the risk management space. I was able to understand how all the various risks worked, I didn’t have a siloed approach, and I was able to have a realistic, fully baked view of what it takes to be a risk manager. Thanks to all the classes that I took, I was able to be more effective in communicating how serious I was about pursuing the role.” Ansari now works in Enterprise Risk Governance at Morgan Stanley.

"The most successful colleagues had the right attitude."

Chief Risk Officer for HSBC Brazil Fabio Weizenmann shared advice for students who lack prior experience but are seeking to enter the ERM profession, emphasizing the long-term benefits of demonstrating a positive attitude, being collegial, and having curiosity. "Maybe you don't know everything you are supposed to do, but if you have the attitude, if you are willing to help, that makes all the difference." 

The panelists also discussed how the risk management knowledge and skills they gained helped them in their current executive management roles, including quantitative skills, qualitative skills and communication skills. As for the most significant challenges and obstacles they faced trying to land their first ERM role in the financial industry, all of the panelists mentioned the difficulty of networking during the pandemic. “Thankfully, because we’d already gone online and Columbia had prepared us so well to interact with people in an online world, it was much easier to present myself and connect with people,” Ansari said.  

Learn more about the Enterprise Risk Management M.S. program at Columbia University. You may watch the full event recording below.