Julia Vilela was initially drawn to Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center because of its global business program and location in the heart of New York City.
“It’s amazing to be at a school that allows me to take advantage of being in New York,” Vilela said. “There’s something about the pace and the person that New York attracts—it’s the driven individual who wants to be able to explore multiple interests.”
What he didn’t expect was that he would discover an entirely different area of interest—all while making connections and securing a full-time position at Deutsche Bank.
Vilela said her background as an international student from Brazil inspired her to major in global business. But pettiness in art history wasn’t something he saw coming.
“It’s one of those things that I would never have thought of if it wasn’t for the core curriculum,” she said. “Fordham is very good at giving us the opportunity to explore and pursue subjects we are passionate about. It is not necessary to give up one or the other.”
After taking an introductory art history course, Vilela studied abroad at Fordham, London, where she took a course in art and architecture. According to him, all classes met in museums.
“It exercises different parts of your brain,” he says of studying art history. “It forces you to be very detailed in a way. Your critical thinking is developing very sharply. He knows the part of your brain where you’re constantly questioning things.”
From Art to Investment Banking: Asking the Right Questions
Vilela said she used some of those skills to stand out when she interned at Deutsche Bank.
“You’re expected to ask questions, especially at the junior level,” he said. “I think the art history part of my brain has been incredibly helpful in that.”
After graduation, Vilela will join Deutsche Bank as a sales, trading and structuring analyst. He credits Armani Nieves, GABELLI ’21, for helping him through the recruiting process. As a student, Nieves helped create networking events such as Financial Diversity and Inclusion Night.
“He mentors Latino students through the investment banking recruiting process,” said Vilela, who is pursuing a concentration in global finance and business economics as part of his major. “He connected me with Fordham alumni who were incredibly supportive and helped me prepare for my interviews.”
Vilela said she saw this level of support during her time at Fordham.
“Everything is smoother because everyone is together.”
Business for Positive Change
Vilela also said he appreciates the Gabelli School’s focus on business with a purpose.
“I was accepted into the Ignite Scholars Honors Program — which is for people with a background in social entrepreneurship who want to use business to affect positive change, which is great,” she said.
He also serves as an Angel Fund Fellow at the Fordham Angel Fund, where he works to connect with Fordham entrepreneurs and screen their applications for funding.
“What’s interesting about it is that it’s not a bachelor club; People from law school, MBA students and undergraduates,” he said. “It’s also a really great opportunity to learn from your peers – which is my favorite thing. You put a business student, a social work graduate student and a law student together – the types of questions we ask these companies are very different.”