My name is Gerome Cabrera and I am an ordinary individual with a public school education, from a low-income family, who landed competitive positions on Wall Street.
I am a first generation Dominican-American, born in Brooklyn and raised by a single mother earning below minimum wage in Miami during my childhood years.
I narrowly survived the devastating 1992 Hurricane Andrew that demolished Miami, 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 aced all my honor’s classes all the way through secondary school.
And then I moved to Queens, New York during sophomore year of high school, where everything changed. I attended a below-average high school, where it took me until the end of junior year to re-enter the honors program, packed grocery bags at the local C-Town Supermarket, met my future wife, bombed the SATs, and failed to see college admission results from my top two college choices after my college advisor forgot to mail in the applications. I settled for CUNY.
I studied Mechanical Engineering, worked part-time at Babies R’ Us, interned at General Electric, and decided to no longer have a career in engineering after graduation and “follow the money” in the financial services.
I attended Boston University’s M.S. in Mathematical Finance program after undergrad and worked as an unpaid summer analyst at Merrill Lynch in New York City.
All these hardships and unfortunate events led to where I am at today. My first professional role as mediocre trade settlement “button pusher” at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) led to a more sophisticated Market Risk Analyst after three months. The market risk role along with the downfall of RBS led to a Management Consulting role at KPMG, which then led to an Investment Banking role at a small boutique on Wall Street, which then led to a data analyst at Credit Suisse, which now led me to my current role in Healthcare Business Strategy.
Along the way, I learned the many ins-and-outs of interviewing, networking, applying, personal branding, case studies, brainteasers, and many other career entry topics. In this blog, I will share my experiences that advanced my career and lead me up the corporate ladder.