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Cara Fioravanti

Year joined:  2013

Division: Markets & Securities Services


Why did you choose to work in this area?

To be honest, at the beginning of this journey I didn’t know that I would love a career in markets, all I knew was that I would love to have a graduate job locked in by my last year of university.

Citi’s HR directed me to Citi’s Women in Banking scholarship at an on campus event (These on campus events are a MUST ATTEND – I wouldn’t have my job if I didn’t turn up and pluck up the courage to introduce myself to the staff there). The scholarship seemed like a too good to be true opportunity so I stretched myself and applied and was fortunate enough to be selected as 2012’s recipient. After winning the Scholarship,  the stars all aligned: from the minute I stepped on the floor I loved the atmosphere, the products, the challenging and exciting nature and most of all, the people!

What do you find most interesting or rewarding about your work?

Markets are incredibly dynamic – this keeps you on your toes every single day of the week. The fast pace of markets and the effects the low interest rate environment have on global asset markets make every day different from the next. It’s this speed and complexity that makes work difficult, but it also makes it interesting. In terms of rewarding; nothing feels better than absolutely nailing a trade idea or deciphering a client issue and delivering the client a solution they couldn’t achieve with anyone else.

What skills and attributes are required for your division?

First and foremost you need the right attitude. You need your attitude to convey a hunger, a determination and a positivity that is unrivalled.

I’d be lying to you if I said strong maths and Microsoft Excel skills didn’t help on a Markets floor. However, the beautiful thing about the human brain is we can teach it anything – so the most important attribute is a hunger and determination to learn and improve.

What are some of the challenges you face/have faced and how have you overcome them?

To date one of the biggest challenges I faced was keeping my nerves in check when speaking to clients and when dealing with live FX risk.  I overcame it through practice & mentoring; I was open with my team about what I saw as my main issue and I asked them for their help (honesty goes a very, very long way when you are a junior). My Team would role play as clients for both trading and pitching solutions and I would do the same role plays again and again and again until I got it right.

It was the same process as learning to drive a car: get experienced help, practice and before you know it you’re doing it with ease. However, never assume you’re the best at it because that’s when you have an accident!!

What is the one tip you would give students seeking a career in your area of work?

Never assume something is “too hard” or that you’re not “smart” enough.  Had I made that assumption I never would have applied for the Women in Banking Scholarship and I never would have been awarded it. It’s also crucial to meet people through campus events like Citi’s Stock Pitch Competition. These events introduce you to Markets staff and provide you with invaluable skills.

Don’t shut down opportunities, explore them! Every interview, conversation, rotation and internship is a learning experience – use them to your advantage!