Our Stories

Banking on the World

Ko Relishes Global Opportunities

Carolina Ko
Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Vanderbilt MBA 2011

As a child, Carolina (MacRobert) Ko knew she wanted to live and work in New York City. Yet she was also interested in how things were done in the wider world—a legacy, perhaps, of her family, who fled Castro's Cuba and settled in Miami.

After graduation, she realized her wish, working as a repo margin analyst in New York. But to continue rising in the financial industry, Carolina knew she needed an MBA. After meeting some Owen alumni at an MBA fair in New York and hearing them talk glowingly about the school's culture, she decided to visit. She found, somewhat to her surprise, that Owen combined the energy of the big city with the supportive feel of her large family in South Florida.

She was also pleased to find that "Owen embraces diversity and creates opportunities for students to have global business experiences." Even before enrolling, Carolina knew she wanted to be part of the Doing Business in China course, "because I wanted to gain real-world work experience abroad." She also joined the student-led Global Business Association and plans to travel to Japan to learn more about business there.

Owen's international opportunities, Carolina believes, helped equip her for an investment banking internship back in New York with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Having the knowledge and experience of working abroad and with people from other countries," she says, "is invaluable to a global bank in this global economy."