Mount Made: Mastering the Business World
Alum James Vazquez Finds Success in Banking and Finance
We first met James back in 2019—in the middle of his successful career with JPMorgan Chase. Now, almost three years later, James has dived into a new role at Bank of America. We had the chance to catch up with him and see how his Mount Made journey continues to flourish!
As an undergraduate Mount student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration, James Vazquez ’06, ’11 MBA knew that in college as in anything, you get back what you put in.
Today, James serves as a Vice President, Global Treasury Solutions Officer for Bank of America. In his role, James partners with his colleagues to develop and deliver customized treasury solutions that not only meet, but transform their clients’ objectives.
That sounds like a lot—so let’s break it down:
At Bank of America, James is accountable for revenue growth, client planning and expansion, pricing strategy, and presentation and delivery of financial solutions. A “people person” at heart, James puts his focus on client relationship development—walking side-by-side with his constituents every step of the way, from growth of new clients to deepening existing partnerships through the thoughtful identification of client goals.
“I love that every client interaction is unique,” James indicated. “There is nothing cookie cutter, every approach is different and every solution offered is tailored to the client’s needs.”
Talk about a beaming businessman!
But getting to where he is today required patience, dedication, and, of course, a Mount education.
As a freshman, James jumped head-first into life at the Mount both in and outside the classroom. He gained a group of like-minded peers who shared his drive for success and found support from a handful of role models—particularly professors Teresita Ramirez, Edward Meyer, and Rajkumar Kempaiah.
“Mount Saint Vincent laid the groundwork,” James said. “I was able to piece together the building blocks of my present and future.”
And what could be more exciting than receiving an exceptional education? In a quantitative methods class, James met his wife, Annalisa Teekah Vazquez ’07, ’11 MBA, a fellow business major. They were both part of the Mount’s first MBA class and earned their bachelor’s degrees a year early.
(Want to read more about Annalisa’s Mount Made journey? Read up on her feature here!)
James is a firm believer that the liberal arts education he received from the Mount prepared him for life, not just a career. He credits the mission of the College and the spirit of service that radiates throughout campus for ingraining perspectives on collaboration and teamwork into his DNA.
“My professors and mentors taught me to both inspire and aspire,” said James. “A positive attitude is contagious and will always lead to success for you and those around you.”
He knew that a career in business would always offer endless opportunities and open countless doors. There are so many areas in the broad “business” subject—from accounting and finance to marketing and human resources.
“As your interests change, you have the flexibility to pivot and change your direction and career path,” James pointed out.
Immediately following his graduation from the Mount, while interviewing for jobs in New York City—the financial capital of the world—James worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Mount’s Department of Communication. Just five weeks later, he was hired by BNY Mellon as a Junior Accountant in capital markets on Wall Street. And it wasn’t long after that he took the opportunity to become a Personal Banker at JPMorgan Chase, which has led to many diverse career experiences since.
Over the past decade and a half, James has had the opportunity to travel across the country as part of his blossoming career—which has not only provided him with transformational business experiences, but also graced him with the opportunity to have some great eats!
A self-proclaimed food connoisseur, James jumps at the chance to try local cuisines. But…
“Regardless of what anyone says, New York absolutely has the best pizza—hands down. There’s no place like home!”
Many of those trips and travel experiences would not have been possible without James’ motivation to advance his financial career. Feeling like his still had more to learn after he completed his undergraduate degree, he returned to the Mount in pursuit of an MBA.
“Today, a master’s degree is the new bachelor’s degree,” remarked James. “It’s what distinguishes you from the competition.”
While preparing for the GMAT and GRE exams and researching top business programs, he felt passionate about the College’s pioneer program and was confident about his decision to apply to his alma mater.
By earning his MBA at the Mount, James expanded his knowledge beyond textbooks to the ability to apply case studies to real-life scenarios in the business world.
“While studying for my MBA, I was able to fill up my toolbox with additional skills in execution, prioritization, time management, and communication,” said James. “It set me up for success in the classroom and with my organization.”
And the formative learning experiences didn’t stop there.
James has had the opportunity to meet some incredible and influential figures in the finance world. One of those? Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
“The story is a bit ironic, actually,” said James. “One of my final assignments when wrapping up my studies for my MBA was a research project on the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. Who would have thought I would go from reading his biography, Last Man Standing, and learning about his history to years later standing next to him and engaging in casual as well as business dialogue?!”
It was a foreshadowing he never expected.
So, what’s next?
James plans to continue growing in his current role with Bank of America, after spending almost 15 years with JPMorgan Chase. Over the next 10 years, he hopes to make the leap into executive management and and dive deeper into relationship management.
“A great manager is inclusive and inspiring, authentic and passionate, innovative and curious, and confident and agile. Looking ahead, I know I will continue to hone in on all of those skills and refine my leadership to be the best manager possible.”
Additionally, following the culture of service instilled in all Mount students, James is thrilled to give back.
“I’ve taken the lead on being a mentor to young professionals, but I know there is more I want to do in my local community. I plan to increase my involvement and service to others however I can and wherever I can—and I can thank the Mount for that.”
As an alum who has earned both an undergraduate and graduate business degree from the Mount, he’s, of course, always encouraging prospective students to join the Mount community.
“The culture at Mount Saint Vincent is strong,” he said. “The Mount is transparent because it ultimately has one goal: your success. There is tangible evidence in my accomplishments, as well as many others. Whenever anyone asks how they can make it, the answer is easy: Apply to the Mount! I promise you will not regret it!”
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 College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College 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.