Marline Alexander on Leveraging University Networks

Marline Alexander walked out of one of her first interviews after graduating from Baruch College with a job offer. Her interviewer was also a Baruch alumnus, which had made all the difference.

After starting her career with Heller Financial, Inc., in 1990, she made her way up the corporate ladder, working for banks like HSBC. 

Now, Alexander is a first vice president and senior portfolio manager at commercial bank BHI. She’s also the co-chair of the Wall Street Exchange Program within the Financial Women's Association, which helps rising college seniors network at major firms, and a mentor at her alma mater.

“A lot of them are like myself,” the Caribbean immigrant says. “The program targets the crème de la crème.”

Although Alexander’s talent is unquestionable — she graduated with a perfect GPA in mathematics and had a great resume — she says that networking with other Baruch alumni helped push her over the edge. 

She points to her university network for getting in the door and meeting alumni who can help with job leads.

“The key to getting really great jobs is networking,” she says.

Alexander attended events at Baruch College and within her industry, and joined organizations where she could meet other women in banking. Now that she’s in a position of power, she gives back, especially for women just starting out in the financial services industry.

She hopes her mentorship will empower college-aged women to secure their dream jobs and says she wants these focused and assertive women to stay in touch.

“It’s a testimony to this generation,” Alexander says. “There’s a fearlessness to them.”

- Amanda Eisenberg / She Spends Issue 40

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