As a TELACU Scholar, Eric Barajas, an aspiring leader and business student at California State University, Fullerton, was selected for the Citi/TELACU Scholars Mentoring Program, which pairs Citi executives with TELACU Scholars majoring in a business field. “I think the individuals who interviewed me nominated me for the Program because they saw my genuine desire to give back to my community and create opportunities for others.”
Eric followed through on his pledge to give back, exemplifying the possibilities first imagined when the partnership between Citi & TELACU was formed.
While being selected for the scholarship had a tremendous impact on his life, the opportunity that steered Eric to his current career path was his summer internship with Citi during his junior year.
“As an intern, I primarily worked as a teller, but under the tutelage of my Mentor, Citi executive Ruben Lucero, I was exposed to all the different aspects of banking. I am forever grateful for this guidance because it was my first exposure to investment banking, which is the area of banking that most interests me.”
Upon graduation, Eric was offered full-time employment with Citi, where he worked as a Personal Banker for the South Gate branch. During this time, Eric was selected as one of nine bankers in the Unites States to participate in the Citibank/Banamex Banker Exchange Program. Beginning in September 2010 through that December, Eric was based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico working in Personal Banking, specifically in wealth management.
Recognizing the impact that the Citi/TELACU Scholars Mentoring Program played in his life, as well as the critical role that Ruben Lucero played in his career development, Eric became active with the Program once again, but this time as a Mentor. After completing three years of mentoring, in 2013 Eric decided to continue his education by pursuing an MBA at Purdue University as a TELACU/Purdue Scholar; he was also awarded The David C. Lizárraga Fellowship for the upcoming academic year.