Alumni Spotlight: Marissa Crespo ’20

Pronouns: She/Her

Lafayette Degree & Major(s): Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Policy Studies (double major) with a Certificate in Financial Policy and Analysis

Location: New York, NY

Title: Assistant Vice President, Securities Services
Employer: Citigroup

Describe what your employer/organization does: Citigroup provides banking, advisory, markets, treasury, and securities services to financial institutions, corporations, the public sector, and high net worth individuals around the world.

Please provide a brief overview of your role: I sell securities services (securities lending, ETF services, custody, short-term cash management, and fund services) to asset managers and asset owners.

What gets you excited to go to work each day? The variety of my day to day! I never know what to expect and I like that about the nature of my job.

What keeps you up at night as you think about the opportunities (or challenges) related to your work? I think a lot about the evolving concentration of wealth among a smaller group of large financial institutions and how that will influence not only the industry but the economy as a whole over the course of my career.

What key strengths are necessary to be successful in entering this career field? It’s important to possess a willingness to learn, be dynamic, and an ability to thrive during periods of change is really important.

Is education beyond a Lafayette degree required to pursue this path? I think getting your MBA or CFA is helpful if you want to pivot into a different part of financial services, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

How did your Lafayette experience equip you for success in your career field, especially as an early career professional? I think having an economics degree rather than a finance degree has been helpful in key ways. Economics is more “big picture” and thinking in that way is natural to me because of my education in that field.

What specific experiences during your time at Lafayette made the greatest impact on your professional path? At Lafayette, I was forced to become comfortable with being one of few women in the room. I also became comfortable being one of few (and, many times, the only) person of color in the room. In a way, the economics/finance department at Lafayette looked at lot like the spaces I would eventually work in. I’m glad I was able to learn how to operate in that environment (and not be intimidated by it) before entering the professional world at a bulge bracket bank.

As it relates to career exploration and development, what is one thing that you know now that you wish you could go back in time and tell your student self? Hard work and being authentic will get you a lot further than you think!

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing your career field? Start exploring early. Recruiting (at least in the bulge bracket world) starts incredibly early – it helps to understand the nuances between each part of the industry so you can find what you like and don’t like.

What strategies, tools, or other efforts do you utilize to find “balance” or reduce your career-related stress? I’m in the gym five days a week and it helps keep me sane! I also create food content on social media as a hobby-turned-side job.

How do you enjoy spending your free time when not at work? I’m usually in the gym, in the kitchen, or spending time with friends/family.

What was your favorite spot on Lafayette’s campus when you were a student? I loved the quad and I also loved the Kirby Library when I needed good, solo study time.

Would you like to connect with Marissa to learn more about her career path?
Ms. Crespo is happy to connect with students via LinkedIn.

By Gateway Career Center
Gateway Career Center