Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico when she worked her way up from an intern to a vice president at Goldman Sachs.

She’s written a book about her life, and shared her strategy for success at the Wall Street investment bank in an op-ed for CNBC.com.

Arce spent seven years at Goldman working in structured derivatives for the private wealth division.

She began as a college intern making $10,000 for the summer. By the time she was 27, she was promoted to vice president, making $340,000 per year.

She explains her strategy:

Once I was at Goldman, I created another plan to turn my internship into a full time job. Once I had the full-time offer, I turned that plan into, “How to become the first Hispanic woman partner at Goldman.” I came up with that plan after reading books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” ” 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and others.

My strategy was:

1. Check in with my bosses periodically on my progress

2. Set and receive expectations for compensation

3. Be intentional about promotions

4. Self-promote (something many people are afraid to do) and 5) Be flexible.

She recommends sitting down with your boss at the beginning of the year to go over your your progress and goals. Then, in the summer, she suggests checking in with your boss on your progress, asking questions such if you’re on track for a promotion or a raise.

It’s smart and simple advice.

By the end of the year, your boss can refer to the goals that you outlined. At the very least, your boss can look back on the goals you gave him or her and measure your performance and give promotions and bonuses accordingly.

Arce left Goldman in 2011 and, eventually, Wall Street all together. She’s a resident of the US, and now a writer, speaker, and social justice advocate. This September, she’s publishing her own memoir, “My (Underground) American Dream.”

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