My name is Gerome Cabrera and I was educated in the public school system, raised in a low-income family, and landed some quite competitive positions in the financial services industry.
I am a first generation Dominican-American and I was born in Brooklyn but raised in Miami by a single mother earning below minimum wage. I narrowly survived the devastating 1992 Hurricane Andrew that demolished South Florida, I was accepted to Florida’s education program for the gifted at the age of seven for receiving a perfect score on the state’s mathematics exam, and I aced all my honor’s classes from primary to secondary school.
After living in Miami for ten years, my family moved to Queens, New York right before the start of my sophomore year of high school. Everything changed. I attended a mediocre high school, where I needed to retake a bunch of state-required fundamental courses to re-enter the honors program by the end of junior year. While attending high school and to support my mother with bills, I packed grocery bags at various supermarkets earning tips from customers. I barely earned $20 per 10-hour shift. I also worked at Bed Bath & Beyond.
In college, I studied Mechanical Engineering while working part-time at Babies R’ Us. During my summer internship at General Electric, I decided to no longer pursue a career in engineering and explore the world of the financial services industry.
After undergrad, I attended Boston University’s M.S. in Mathematical Finance program. In my first semester, I realized that the most sought out analyst roles in NYC were advertised more for undergrads from the top universities in the country. I had to find other ways to get to myself through the door, like work as an unpaid summer analyst at Merrill Lynch in NYC.
All these hardships and unfortunate events led to where I am at today. I started off as a Market Risk Analyst at RBS, which led to working at KPMG, Ramirez, Credit Suisse, and Columbia University.
Along the way, I learned the many ins-and-outs of interviewing, networking, applying, personal branding, and many other career entry topics. In this blog, I will share my experiences through this journey.