Taking Stock

Alex Ibrahim (Executive MBA, ‘98), Head of International Capital Markets,New York Stock Exchange

When Alex Ibrahim was growing up in Teresópolis, a city in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he never dreamt that one day he’d get a job on Wall Street. Yet, today, Ibrahim works at 11 Wall Street, home to the New York Stock Exchange, where he is Head of International Capital Markets. And, he says, it was all thanks to his experience at the Zicklin School’s Executive MBA program that he landed there.

“It was a fantastic experience,” says Ibrahim, who worked for a U.S. consultancy with Latin American clients while studying for his EMBA. “My classes at Zicklin, especially what I learned about financial markets, stock trading, exchanges, accounting, and economics, all relate to what I do at the Exchange every single day.”

The EMBA program’s cohort model, in which students progress through the program with the same group of classmates, created a lively atmosphere not unlike that on NYSE’s trading floor.  “We had tons of very interesting debates—students arguing with one another, and the professor in the middle moderating,” Ibrahim recalls. “My classmates worked in financial services, accounting, biotech, even medicine. It was very exciting and very international, with students from Korea, China, India, Canada—all with their own experiences.”

Ibrahim found that his experience dealing with different cultures was invaluable for his job at NYSE, where he interacts with companies and investors worldwide. His Zicklin degree is highly esteemed by his co-workers, many of whom also studied at Zicklin. Ibrahim adds: “The school is very well regarded here.” It’s no wonder he was hired at NYSE immediately after graduation.

His classmates’ enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and cosmopolitan spirit became a blueprint for those Ibrahim hires at the Exchange: “I look for people who are passionate about international business and who understand how the economies of different countries are all part of the same ecosystem,” he notes. “I’m always interested in someone who’s curious about business outside the United States and understands what’s happening in the world.”