Our alumni carry the foundation of their Friends School education with them throughout their lives. Not only did their time at Friends prepare them for college and their professions, but they think critically, make room for reflection, work collaboratively with their peers, and thrive having learned “freedom within structure.”
We recently sat down with Maya Kumta Gilbert ’01 to talk about her career and the impact of her experience at Friends for the most recent edition of Friends Magazine. After graduating from Friends, Maya earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from The George Washington University School of Business. She has worked in finance ever since.
How she got here: By asking a lot of questions and not being afraid to learn new things. I started at Lehman Brothers in New York in June 2005 after graduating from George Washington University. I was working in Global Markets Operations, focused on Middle Office. It was a steep learning curve and I loved every moment. I went to Deutsche Bank in 2007, where I was thrown into helping rebuild a trade support team for the U.S. Rates business. I quickly discovered I was interested in designing and implementing strategic change and streamlining operational processes. Deutsche Bank then moved me to London, to work on Front-to-Back strategic programs. So I decided my next step would be consulting. After 10 years in consulting, where I worked with a variety of clients, helping them answer and deliver post-financial crisis regulation, I decided to go back into banking.
Current work: I currently work at Bank of America as Global Markets COO, where I lead the Global Markets approach for Global Sanctions Program and support other U.S. regulations. I work across the organization on how we comply with regulations within the complex nature of the business.
Impact of her Friends education: Well, I should have taken the business class they offered in junior/senior year! My career was really influenced by my experience at Friends. The School ethos encourages and rewards a thirst for curiosity, and provides the ability to question and challenge concepts that we didn’t agree with, understand, or just wanted to know more about.
Notable Friends School experience: This a tough one! My best classroom experiences were in Advanced Chemistry.
Memorable Friends teacher: Another hard one! Too many exceptional teachers who made the school shine. But if I had to pick…Ken Drews, Upper School Chemistry (retired 2012), and Deloris Jones, Middle School Social Studies (1983-present).