Equipped to Lead and Succeed

USF Put Him on the Path to a Career

Finance major tells how he landed a job before commencement

by Melody Kim, USF News

Rodrigo Bueno de Los Santos graduates this month, a semester early, with a degree in finance, an economics minor, and a full-time job as an investment banking analyst for Bank of America in New York.

Rodrigo Bueno de Los Santos

Bueno de Los Santos, who played on the soccer team, talks about how USF prepared him for a career.

What were your internships like?

Last year, I interned at a private equity firm in San Francisco called VMG Partners. It gave me the foundation of the finance world, and I learned a lot. It was a professional environment, but the majority of the people working there were young so I could see how finance professionals worked and interacted with other colleagues. It was a great first internship because there wasn’t a lot of pressure but I was exposed to a lot of things.

After my internship with VMG Partners, I applied to a bunch of banks for an investment banking internship this summer and went through 10 interviews. I ended up choosing Bank of America in New York.

What was the internship at Bank of America like?

That internship was much more demanding. I got in every day at 8:40 a.m. and I did not know what time I was going to leave. It was a different perspective. I’m glad I did it, because it was out of my comfort zone and that’s the only way I’m going to grow. I was trying to get a full-time offer, so I was really trying to give my best effort every day. I did whatever I could to learn and increase my opportunity to have the option.

In the end, I did get a full-time offer from Bank of America to work in investment banking in New York.

Congrats! How do you feel?

It feels really good. I was confident with all the work that I had put in; I knew I deserved it. My parents are really happy and proud of me.

How did you get your internship?

For VMG Partners, the recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn. I thought, “What do I have to lose?” If I had never received that message from the recruiter on LinkedIn, I don’t know what would have happened. I had three rounds of interviews with them before I got the internship.

You must have had a good LinkedIn profile.

Yes, I constantly update my LinkedIn. I met with Alex Hochman [senior director of the Career Services Center]. He was inspiring and informative about Handshake and LinkedIn and said that we should all get involved.

VMG Partners saw on my LinkedIn that I was studying in San Francisco and that I was a finance major. Also, a finance student from USF had interned there in the past so maybe they were looking for students with a similar profile.

You’re from Monterrey, Mexico. What was it like to get an internship as an international student?

It wasn’t an easy process. Sometimes I’d hear back from places that couldn’t sponsor me so they rejected me. I felt bad, but at the same time there’s nothing I could have done. It took time, but I’m happy that everything worked out. I always read the emails from ISSS and emailed them back and forth when I had questions.

How has USF prepared you as a working professional?

The entrepreneurial finance class helped me, because it’s about making a lot of presentations and today I have to make a lot of presentations. My finance classes also helped introduce me to the foundations and the formulas.

One thing that really helped me, though, were my friends and classmates. We got together and practiced interviewing with each other. It was nice and helpful because everyone benefitted. I told the person I was practicing with something they were able to learn, and they were able to tell me something that helped me.