With 18 years at Citi under her belt, Timicka Anderson has held a variety of roles – including product management and finance – but has found her North Star in client relationship management. Even though she studied chemical engineering as an undergrad, Timicka chose to get an MBA at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School to buttress her core business skills and land a job on Wall Street. A self-described “southern girl” from Florida, Timicka leads with the values she learned from her strong upbringing. Citi life. As Head of the Consumer Retail & Healthcare industry team, US Commercial Bank, Global and National Industries at Citi, what does your role entail? I lead a team that manages Citi’s relationships with about 60 mid- to large-sized US corporations in those industries and helps them solve business challenges. For example, how to enter a global market, get financing, optimize cash flows, or manage foreign exchange rates – we help clients make key growth decisions. Today I am in San Francisco meeting with a radiation equipment manufacturer, tomorrow I meet a prospective furniture retailer, and then I go to LA and meet an apparel company. The best way to develop new relationships is to treat them like a client already. What qualities are necessary for success? What is challenging? People skills are very important. To engage with clients, you have to be super motivated to be part of their success and help them meet goals. I also have tremendous opportunity to coach and mentor younger bankers. Most challenging is when I have to tell clients “no.” Having difficult conversations – acknowledging problems and allowing space for the relationship to continue – is an art. Career choices and lessons What was your childhood like? How did it influence your choice of career? My upbringing made me who I am – my grandparents and parents all had strong work ethics. Mom took me with her to work at the Port of Jacksonville (Florida) on Saturdays sometimes, which shaped my commitment to be a working mother. I was encouraged to do whatever I wanted, and initially I wanted a career in TV news as an anchorwoman. My younger brothers are a lawyer and a doctor, and people joke with my parents, asking when they are going to write a book on raising children. What was your very first job? Where did you start your career? My first job was at a pharmacy retailer. I spent most of my time in the cosmetics and pharmacy departments, which are industries I focus on now. By the time I was a junior in high school, I was taking college level math and science courses, and a teacher suggested chemical engineering. After college and before my MBA, I worked for Procter & Gamble at a tissue and towel manufacturing plant in Albany, Georgia. I interned there during college, knew the organization really well, and it was a good place to start a career. Describe any pivotal moments in your career. During maternity leave after having my third son, I honed in on what I wanted to do next from a career perspective. After 10 years at Citi in different roles and functions, it was time to focus, and it came down to: I like being with clients. It is not easy to move in and out of client coverage because continuity is important in relationships, but I knew longer term what I wanted to achieve and was willing to do some junior level tasks as I sought to re-establish my relationships with colleagues and clients. What are your biggest business lessons? #1 Everyone is a client. I try to understand the needs of everyone I work with and then marry that with what I have to offer. #2 People do business with people they like. Value of the MBA. How have you benefited from the MBA? Without an MBA, I don’t believe I would have been able to get a job on Wall Street. The MBA placed me in a position to be where I wanted to be and learn what I wanted to learn. As a natural problem solver who thinks in processes, engineering gave me a foundation, and the MBA enhanced my core business skills. Diversity & Inclusion. What has been your experience as a woman in business? Have you faced any obstacles? Today is better than it used to be. When I gave birth to my sons 14 years ago, the banking world was still coming around to the notion of women continuing professionally and being a mom. Given’s Citi’s broad opportunities, I found a role that allowed me to have flexibility and develop new skills while juggling twins. I learned to be vocal about what I needed, however success comes from delivering results. Citi is working to increase representation of women and minorities in more senior levels across the company and has placed more emphasis on inclusion through increased awareness and training. My experience navigating my career is something that drives my interest in advocating for rising talent both inside and outside my team. I’m thrilled to have recently joined the Citi Women global steering committee as Citi looks for ways to engage our clients in the gender-related work underway across Citi. Personal pursuits. Can you share anything from your bucket list? I would like to work in another country and expose my family to the world. I’ve traveled and visited clients and Citi offices throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. When I was in business school, I went to Southeast Asia and Shanghai and Bangkok. I also studied in Caracas and find the energy of places with emerging economies very exciting. Wherever her journey leads her next, we are sure that Timicka will continue to apply the values and lessons she has gained from her upbringing and her success at Citi.