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Mount Made: Mastering the Business World


Alum James Vazquez Finds Success at JPMorgan Chase

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 and Treasury Management Officer for the Commercial Real Estate group within Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase. James oversees a dedicated team working with real estate banking developers and investors to provide products and solutions that help transform their treasury operations.

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 ’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.

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.”

Immediately following his graduation from the Mount, and 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.

Feeling like he still had more to learn in order to further advance his financial career, James decided to return 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 new graduate 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 and learning to applying 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 classroom and with my organization.”

So what’s next?

James plans to continue growing in his current role with JPMorgan Chase, and following the culture of service instilled in all Mount students, he is thrilled to give back.

“I’ve taken the lead on being a mentor to young professionals in my organization, 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.”

And 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.