Born and raised in Brazil, Gustavo Campos is a fourth-year finance student from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business who will start his career at the London office of Jefferies Group LLC, an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company, after graduation in May 2022. He will be working as a sales and trading analyst in the emerging markets desk. Gustavo says he was drawn to this career path by a combination of extracurricular activities, internships, and the fact that he was born and raised in an emerging country.
Reflecting on what made the biggest difference to his career preparation as a Tippie undergraduate, Gustavo says, “The Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance has been the greatest resource to my professional development in investment banking, sales and trading, and private equity. The network, the camaraderie, and the support provided by the program was an opportunity that I will be grateful for for the rest of my life.” Gustavo adds, “Additionally, by taking the Applied Equity and Valuation experiential course, I helped manage the Krause Fund – a $500,000 university-held equity portfolio. The course gave me critical insights on fundamental analysis and how companies can truly generate value and competitive advantages for their stakeholders.” Gustavo believes making new friends and finding a network of people to rely on is extremely important to international students. Joining the coed business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi helped him find a supportive and welcoming place in the Tippie community. “It is a group of very talented and self-motivated individuals that really care about helping each other. Trying to immerse myself in a new culture and feel comfortable with my unique background was definitely facilitated by their brotherhood efforts,” Gustavo shares.
Gustavo’s Brazilian background is another important element in the equation of career success. “Because I grew up in an emerging country, a lot of macroeconomic issues come very naturally to me, like the understanding of how monetary policies may resonate across the foreign exchange market, generate inflation, or attract foreign investments into my home country. My background, combined with my curiosity in understanding how developing economies operate in the global markets, was what drew me into my first job in sales and trading,” Gustavo says. During his sophomore summer, he participated in the African Business Innovation Internship program, which gave him further experience in the emerging markets field. “I provided guidance and consulting to a small African startup. Because my client was from São Tomé e Príncipe, his native language is also Portuguese, which facilitated the communication and the breaking of the cultural barrier.”
Looking back on his college experience at Iowa as a graduating senior, Gustavo believes it is a dream come true. “When I was a high school student in Brazil, I was looking for an American university experience where I could truly immerse myself and get relevant professional experience after my years of studying,” he recalls. At the same time, Gustavo admits that, as an international student, it was natural that he would come across some extra difficulties culturally, academically, and professionally. For other international students on similar paths, Gustavo has the following advice: “There are two ways you can approach new challenges: you may let them overwhelm you, or you can embrace these difficulties and set them as the stepstone for your personal growth. To overcome anything, first, be resilient. There is a lot that happens that is completely out of your control, so you need to focus on what is within your reach and be proactive about it. Second, don’t ever hesitate to reach out for help. You have no idea how many people around you are willing to guide you to success. You just need to be humble to admit you need support to excel. Also, be willing to help others. Finally, always put yourself in God's hands and trust he wants the best for you. One way or another this always pays off.”
After Brazil and the U.S., Gustavo is now ready to expand his global footprint to the U.K. He is confident that his time at Iowa has prepared him for whatever will come his way.