How a Career in Internal Audit Leads to New Possibilities

Sponsored by Santander US

Pictured left to right: Chief Audit Executive Nina Vitagliano, Director of Credit Risk Internal Audit Johana   Quiñones, and Internal Audit Manager Crystal Amore-Quinonez.  Photo courtesy of Santander.

Pictured left to right: Chief Audit Executive Nina Vitagliano, Director of Credit Risk Internal Audit Johana Quiñones, and Internal Audit Manager Crystal Amore-Quinonez. Photo courtesy of Santander.

Santander Bank
Santander Bank
May 22, 2024 at 2:9AM UTC

Curious about how a bank runs its business? You might want to schedule some time to chat with one of Santander US’ internal auditors.

Responsible for assessing the quality and effectiveness of the bank’s internal compliance, control, and risk management, Santander’s Internal Audit team partners with all areas of the company, providing trusted counsel that helps lead to improvements that bolster its operations. This panoramic view provides a unique opportunity for employees to learn about the inner workings of a bank and a variety of experiences that can open new doors.

“There aren’t many jobs that give you as much exposure to the breadth of opportunities available at our organization as a career in Internal Audit. From here, you can go almost anywhere,” said Nina Vitagliano, Chief Audit Executive at Santander Consumer USA. “Employees and candidates looking to gain a comprehensive view and understanding of how a bank functions will appreciate the potential of a career in audit.”

What does it take to become an internal auditor? A laser-focused attention to detail, an analytical eye to assessing risk potential, and the ability to communicate effectively are a starting point with many entry-level audit careers. You can view available opportunities here

Speaking from their personal experience, three women of Santander US’ Internal Audit team shared how the company and a role in audit is shaping their career journey. 

Nina Vitagliano 

Chief Audit Executive, Santander Consumer USA

Prior roles at Santander: Head of Internal Control

One of the reasons I chose to work at Santander was because of Ana Botín, the Executive Chairman of Banco Santander S.A. In banking, it’s rare that a woman leader sits atop the organization. I saw this as evidence that Santander values women and would provide equal opportunity for me to advance my career. Santander hasn’t disappointed me! Over my six years here, I have had many challenging assignments, promotion opportunities, and mentors who have helped me on my journey.


Johana Quiñones 

Director, Credit Risk Internal Audit, Santander Consumer USA

Prior roles at Santander: Internal Audit Manager, Grupo Santander, Puerto Rico

Beginning my career in Internal Audit at Banco Santander Puerto Rico gave me the best platform to develop my critical thinking and analytical skills and my ability to work with deadlines under pressure — skills that resulted in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recommending me for positions including Chief Credit Risk Officer for a large commercial bank and Director of Finance, Risk and Internal Control for an association of the U.S. Farm System. 

As an auditor, you not only learn about regulations and regulator expectations, but also understand how an institution operates, since you are exposed to different areas and processes. Auditing provides the opportunity to identify new areas for career growth. And in some cases, as it happened to me, someone can see your potential and open the door to opportunities that you had not even contemplated.

Crystal Amore-Quinonez 

Internal Audit Manager, Santander Bank N.A.

Prior roles at Santander: Supervisor; Senior Supervisor Santander Bank N.A. 

A career in Internal Audit is a connection point to learning more and growing your career across the organization. Because I work on Santander Holdings USA and Santander Bank N.A. audits, projects, and regulatory reviews, I have had the opportunity to work with team members across many divisions, such as Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, Risk, Operations, Technology, and Human Resources, as well as other U.S. entities. As I’ve strengthened my knowledge and connections across Santander US, I’ve had the opportunity to advance my career and take on two new positions since I began my first role at the organization in 2017.



Interested in learning more about a role in audit at Santander US? Check out our open positions and join our Talent Community to get alerts for the newest Santander roles as they become available. 

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