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Mount Made: Building Credit


Alumna Boosts Her Career in Banking—One Penny at a Time

If money doesn’t grow on trees, why do banks have branches?

Well, someone has to run those branches. And the teams who work at the branches. And the programs those branches oversee. And the clients those branches serve.

So, these trees can be quite big, as you can see—with branches extending all over the country.

It’s a good thing, then, there are Mount alums like Annalisa Teekah Vazquez ’07, ’11 MBA—who stand tall as the trunks of those trees and help give support to the branches so they can grow.

For the past 12 years, Annalisa has prospered in several positions at Signature Bank. She began her relationship with the company with an entry-level position and quickly climbed the ranks. Following three promotions, she now serves as an Associate Group Director.

And prior to climbing the tree at Signature Bank, Annalisa planted her roots in banking as a Personal Banker at JPMorgan Chase.

We certainly give Annalisa credit for all the hard work she’s put in to launch her career.

Over the years, Annalisa has added a plethora of responsibilities to her plate throughout her role at Signature Bank. On a day-to-day basis, she’s managing and expanding the Bank’s most valuable relationships with clients, managing her team and their workload, and onboarding new clients. Signature Bank’s client base primarily consists of real estate constituents, which makes most transactions time-sensitive.

“Additionally,” Annalisa added, “I serve as the escalation contact for my team—which requires me to manage my time well and prioritize my work to always expect the unexpected.”

See—we weren’t kidding when we told you these banks need a strong trunk!

Reaching such high heights would have been impossible without the education and guidance she received as a student at Mount Saint Vincent—and not only as an undergraduate, but for her graduate degree as well! Annalisa walked across the commencement stage with a bachelor’s degree in business in 2007, and returned to the Mount shortly thereafter to complete her MBA as part of the inaugural cohort of the program (and was even the first female graduate!).

Annalisa Teekah Vazquez posing with a trophy A group of graduates from the first cohort of the MBA program pose for a photo

The Mount gave Annalisa more than just an exceptional education. She met her husband, James, on campus in 2005. A fellow alum, James was also a business major and the couple worked their way through graduate school together—tying the knot following their MBA graduation.

(PS: We featured James in a Mount Made story a few years ago! Read all about it here.)

Together, Analisa and James have two young daughters—who keep them on their toes. When she’s not crunching numbers at work, Annalisa is spending time with her family and participating in various activities and events with local charities.

Reflecting on her career, Annalisa admits that she didn’t always have a passion and drive for business.

“When thinking about what I wanted to study and the direction I wanted to pursue, I knew I sought after job security and flexibility,” she explained. “I believed a career in the business sector would provide me with endless opportunities to grow. In today’s unpredictable economy, employees with business and business management degrees are in high demand and are viewed as a cornerstone to any company’s success.”

And that makes total cents to us!

Her favorite part of her role at Signature Bank involves seeking out new banking relationships. This all starts with obtaining a referral for a new client and onboarding new relationships. After all, let’s compare banking clients to branches—without new branches, how could a tree continue to grow?

“Many prospects and clients aren’t familiar with Signature Bank and can be hesitant to transition an entire banking relationship with many moving parts. It’s a rewarding feeling when we successfully transition a prospect into a client—especially when their feedback is positive. Many of our clients wish they made the transition sooner!”

Annalisa’s success as an Associate Group Director at a major banking company all started with the skills she learned in the classroom in Founders Hall. Every strong tree needs to sprout their roots somewhere!

“The Mount definitely gave me the foundation I needed to have a successful career in banking and finance,” Annalisa reflected.

Much of that foundation came from the knowledge passed down to Annalisa and her peers from the College’s revered and dedicated faculty members. Not only was she gaining textbook knowledge throughout her studies, she was becoming prepared to enter the “real world” through case studies and teachers who could speak to their successful business careers.

“I was taught to be a well-rounded student, employee, and individual.”

To this day, Annalisa keeps in touch with several professors—many of whom influenced her decision to return to the Mount to earn her MBA and advance her career. These include Professor of Business and Economics Edward Meyer and Associate Professor of Business and Economics Teresita Ramirez, who have given Annalisa endless amounts of advice when it comes to life as both a student and a business professional.

Beyond the classroom, Annalisa approached her time at the Mount as a four-year internship preparing her for her career—not just a job. From classwork to club involvement and from exams to extracurriculars, Annalisa embraced a busy college lifestyle where time management and professionalism were key.

“The Mount community encouraged me to continue down a path of hard work and to be open-minded to a myriad of challenges and opportunities,” Annalisa said. “I am proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career so far and I truly enjoy what I do. I believe my success comes from the hard work and dedication I put into my career from the very start—all linking back to my education at Mount Saint Vincent.”

Annalisa’s come a long way since her studies at the College, and she doesn’t seem to want to stop growing anytime soon! But, one thing’s for sure—we’ll never lose interest in her success as she continues to stand tall amongst the dense forest of banking and finance branches!

Are you Mount Made? Do you know other alums carrying out the mission of the College? Let us know—we’d love to share how the College helped launch your career. Contact us to be featured!

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.