Maria DeMuro, Associate, Barclays Investment Bank Maria DeMuro didn’t have a distinct dream job when she was younger. However, an entry-level consulting role and networking with (mostly male) peers in financial services enabled her to discover her interest in investment banking. Today, she’s an Associate at Barclays Investment Bank thanks to her MBA, early industry experience, and drive to work incredibly hard and welcome new challenges daily. HOW SHE GOT THERE. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, DeMuro was exposed to operations, IT, and finance roles—and numerous industries—at Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting. She discovered her passion for discussing what financial results mean for a business and her desire to be involved in companies’ financial decisions. After four years at Alvarez & Marsal, DeMuro enrolled full-time in Darden School of Business’ MBA program at University of Virginia. In her eyes, this was a fantastic decision that helped her grow her contributions from execution to management. After gaining internship and entry-level investment banking experience at Citigroup, she moved to Barclays where she became a mid-level Associate. WHAT SHE DOES. Ultimately, DeMuro’s team connects businesses with capital and assists them with transactions, such as acquisitions. This requires meeting with companies to discuss their investment and business plans, as well as examining a business’ financial results and projections in order to prepare in-depth analyses. As an Associate, DeMuro commands day-to-day work on client presentations and financial analysis, overseeing entry-level professionals’ schedules and assignments, and preparing and editing deliverables with supervisors. WHY SHE LOVES HER JOB. As a third-year Associate, DeMuro is gaining more client-facing experience. “You get to discuss your ideas, how clients view them, and how they can help improve the way their business functions,” DeMuro said. “Investment banking opens a number of doors,” she added. “It sets you on a career path that accelerates your development and broadens your opportunities.” DeMuro has learned about global markets and finance at a rapid pace, and already feels capable to undertake many financial services and corporate finance roles. WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY. “It is important to identify a good mentor,” DeMuro said. “Leaders know they need to nurture and keep women who come into these jobs because they add value.” DeMuro connects with senior industry women by receiving important introductions from colleagues at Barclays and through staying active in Forté. HER CONFERENCE EXPERIENCE. DeMuro attended Forté’s Financial Services FAST Track before starting her MBA program. “Attending the conference is a great way to experience the industry and meet women in finance without having to worry about asking the wrong questions,” she said. “General industry knowledge was expected once I entered the recruitment process, and I felt as though male peers had more exposure to investment banking and finance through their friends. The conference leveled that playing field because I met banking representatives early in my career and learned about the day-to-day work environment.” Learn more about financial careers at the Forté Financial Services FAST Track.