JC Campero is many things: a fixed income strategist at BlackRock, a finance professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), a foodie, and an opera lover. As a graduate of Princeton BCF, Campero is also an esteemed member of the BCF alumni network, with valuable insights about the academic and extracurricular traditions of Princeton’s small but robust class of graduate students.
Recently, Lindsay Bracken, BCF’s Manager of Career Development, Alumni Relations, and Corporate Affiliates, caught up with Campero to discuss his path to Princeton and the roles he’s taken on since graduating with a Master in Finance in 2016.
If you’re a Princeton BCF alumnus who’s reached a milestone in your career, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to Bracken (firstname.lastname@example.org) to stay in touch and tell your story.
Bracken: Tell us about why you decided to pursue a Master in Finance at BCF. Why choose Princeton?
Campero: Princeton was my first choice. Everything about the program at BCF appealed to me: the faculty, the quality of education, the alumni network, the scope and focus of the MFin program, the classes, the extracurricular activities … from any point of view, it was my first choice.
Bracken: You spent some time working in consulting and investment banking before coming to Princeton BCF for your master’s degree. Were there any industry experiences that you found particularly helpful for setting you up to succeed in your graduate classes?
Campero: I did some research on the use of copulas and numeric approximations for collateralized debt obligation (CDO) pricing, for which I won a research award. That was particularly useful, as it taught me concepts that I’d later apply in the MFin program at BCF.
Bracken: What was your experience like at Princeton as a graduate student? Did you participate in any extracurricular activities? How involved were you in Princeton’s campus culture?
Campero: I was active in the Queer Graduate Caucus and in the Center for Latin American Studies. I also had the opportunity to meet good friends from other programs in the university and attend interesting university-sponsored events. For example, I was invited for lunch with the former President of Colombia—and funnily enough, we later met again at an airport.
Bracken: How have your experiences, academic or otherwise, at Princeton prepared you for the work that you are doing now with BlackRock and ITAM?
Campero: To put it simply, Princeton opened doors for me. If it wasn’t for Princeton, I wouldn’t have the knowledge, credentials, or contacts to be at BlackRock or be a professor at ITAM. It was a complete game changer.
Bracken: What advice do you have for current Master in Finance students as they look toward the next step in their career?
Campero: Find your voice. The financial industry is vibrant, and there’s space for people who want to program all day, for people who don’t want to program at all, for people who like talking to people, for people who want to be left alone… Find your voice, find what you are good at—what intersection you are interested in—and follow that path.