There’s real talent here

@Roberto Arribas

JP Morgan, one of the largest investment banks in the world, has hired Irene Lozoya Perela to join their headquarters in London as an analyst. Down in Segovia, she is a student in her final year of the BBA.

She’s still finishing up her studies but already secured a job with US banking giant JP Morgan in their London offices, the financial capital of Europe.

Irene Lozoya Perela is a 21-year-old from Segovia who has outstanding grades in her Business Management degree, with the best financial institutions in the world currently competing for her skills.

JP Morgan, the third biggest bank in the US and one of the most important international investment banks, opened up their applications for internships three months ago, to which around 18,000 candidates applied.  Irene was one of the 400 international candidates to pass these incredibly demanding and rigorous tests, which include interviews, group activities, and presentations.  A few things worked in Irene’s favor: an excellent education in finance and economics, and heaps of motivation.  And so for 10 weeks Irene worked at the bank’s London offices.  Her excellent performance during the internship led to JP Morgan hiring her to join their team.

With exceptional intellectual capacity, Irene is a young person who’s convinced that hard work always pays off in the end.   She’ll be starting her new job at JP Morgan this September, a month after graduating from IE University with her BBA degree, a chapter in her life she’ll always remember.  Irene always realized that attending university is a privilege.  College gave Irene an array of opportunities that not only helped her learn new skills but also shaped her personality and character.

Irene recalls her first year at IE University: a unique environment with classes taught completely in English, new professors and classmates, a step-up in workload, and even greater responsibility.  Although she studied at IES Maria Moliner where all students are given a firm grounding in languages, IE University was a real challenge, with a student population made up of more than a hundred nationalities and classes taught only in English.

I’m about to finish my studies and couldn’t have picked a better university. I’m very happy to have studied in English in an international and multicultural environment, at an institution like IE that’s highly regarded in the business world,” notes Irene, who holds one of the scholarships offered by the city council of Segovia and IE University every year to students living in Segovia.


Photo by: Roberto Arribas

IE University, gateway to her success

According to Irene, “IE University has opened up my professional career,” and she recalls her time interning at the Arcano group in Madrid, a prestigious independent financial advisory firm, at ONE to ONE Capital, specialists in mergers and acquisitions, and at JP Morgan, the bank she interned for in the London and where she was ultimately offered an analyst role.  This young student also had the opportunity to intern in the financial department of one of the most prestigious five-star hotels in Mallorca, thanks to a scholarship offered by Santander.

I really hit the ground running,” says Irene, who adds that, “if you’re a good student IE offers you lots of opportunities to develop, and I wanted to take advantage of all of them.” And so Irene studied for a semester at the New York campus of the University of Cornell, an Ivy League university.

Besides studying finance, while in the States Irene also took a class that had a huge positive impact on her academic career.  At Cornell she took a “Women in Management and Entrepreneurship” class led by Michele Williams, a renowned African American professor known for her programs for female entrepreneurs.  “It was in New York that I decided I wanted to write my thesis on this topic,” she says.

After the semester, Irene wanted to take all the knowledge she’d acquired in the US back with her to her hometown of Segovia. So she began to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce in Segovia on a study of female entrepreneurs.  This research in turn formed the basis of her thesis entitled, “Unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of women: a study on the effectiveness of business support programs.”  For her thesis, Irene interviewed a large group of members of the Program of Business Support for Women (PAEM) who had launched their own businesses, and asked them to identify the difficulties they faced when securing funding.

Female entrepreneurs

There aren’t many female entrepreneurs,” says Irene, “probably because there’s a lack of successful female entrepreneurs who serve as role models. When we think of an entrepreneur, someone like Steve Jobs comes to mind, but I don’t identify with him. I personally admire Sheryl Sandberg for instance, the COO of Facebook who promotes gender equality in the workplace.” Irene strongly believes that there’s still a lot to be done regarding equality, “but some of the obstacles women face are in our mind, our own imagination, and we have to fight against that.

Besides being a young woman with a promising future in the world of finance, Irene is also interested in participating in humanitarian work, such as in a program led by IE University and the NGO “Por la sonrisa de un niño” (“For a child’s smile”.)   The organization tries to rescue children in Cambodia from the misery of living and working in garbage dumps. For 12 hours of work at the dump, they receive just one dollar a day.

The idea is to organize activities and talks with companies so they can help the NGO and find sponsors for the children, who survive on the little money they get from selling what they find in the trash dumps.  “I think this experience will help me to not only do my part in the fight against poverty and inequality, but also to grow as a person,” concludes Irene.