Image Courtesy of Santander
Leadership skills can be innate. We all know people who have natural abilities in this area, or we may even have been lucky enough to work with them. But they also can be developed. This often happens through working for great managers who see leadership potential and help their team members develop and grow. Santander, the global banking and finance company, believes in supporting its employees so they can advance their careers while still staying at the company. Santander is also committed to the development, empowerment and growth of women and their allies within the communities where they live, work and serve.
Recently Fairygodboss spoke with Santander leader Cristina Schulman about her experiences as a woman working for the company. She’s currently Managing Director, Santander Investment Securities. Schulman credits the managers she has had with developing her own leadership skills, and she’s now in turn developing and helping grow the careers of others. She says, “I actually like managing people – I think it is a critical part of any senior position. Having the right people working together is the recipe to success.” Read more about Schulman’s career path and what she loves about her company and her job.
Tell us a bit about your job. What’s your current role, how long have you been in this role, and what were you doing previously?
I am responsible for the Capital Markets business for Latin American clients at Santander. We help companies and governments from Latin America to raise money internationally in the bond markets. I have been in this role for 4 years. Before that, I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I had the same job at Santander, but working only with Brazilian clients.
What about your work do you find most exciting?
I love working with people from different nationalities and backgrounds. Here we work with people not only from Latam, but from all over the world.
Managing people — especially if you’re new to it — is not easy. How has your Santander and your own manager helped set you up for success?
I have been lucky to have great bosses here and in Brazil, and they helped me by being good models, and by telling me when I needed to adjust anything that I was doing.
I actually like managing people – I think it is a critical part of any senior position. Having the right people working together is the recipe to success.
How is this kind of support reflective of the overall culture at Santander?
The culture at Santander is very open, down to earth and fair. We tend to look at the practical side of getting things done, and making sure we are constantly communicating with all our stakeholders.
What’s one strategy you’ve used when managing an individual (or team) that you think has been particularly effective?
I try to be open and straight when something is not going well, and I give credit and exposure to individuals so they can grow.
What is your no. 1 piece of advice for others who are moving into leadership?
Don’t be afraid to speak up and trust your instincts.
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