Christine Cloonan knows how to turn Rotary experience into career opportunities. While studying as a 2008-09 Ambassadorial Scholar at La Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Christine wrote her master’s thesis on American Tower, a leading owner and operator of communications sites for wireless and broadcast providers. She now works at American Tower as a Senior Financial Analyst with a focus on the company’s Latin American operations. She is also a graduate of Bowdoin College and Middlebury College, and is the 2013 Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum Fellowship Award recipient.
You wrote your master’s thesis on American Tower. What drew you to this company and this industry?
American Tower drew me to the industry. In writing my thesis, the company‟s strong financials and trajectory for growth captured my attention. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to hear the current CEO speak at an international business conference and was further impressed by the strength and vision of the company‟s leadership.
Can you describe a typical day as a Senior Financial Analyst?
I work with the International Financial Planning team in the Boston office. We support the company‟s operations in Latin America, Europe and Africa. Our work involves both budgeting and forecasting for operations, as well as business development. My daily activities include budget and forecast analysis, developing quarterly review and investment committee presentations, working on financial models for the evaluation of potential acquisitions, and keeping myself and our management up-to-date on regional economic, political and industry news.
How do you apply your Rotary experience in your current position?
Beyond the content of my studies, the most instrumental aspect of my Rotary experience that I apply to my current position is my understanding of another culture and personal connections in the region. Culture is an often overlooked, although core component, of international business. Life and work exist in different contexts outside of the United States and it impacts how people and business operate.
Do you have any advice for recent graduates of Rotary Foundation programs on how to leverage their Rotary experience in their job search?
I am thrilled about the organization of a Rotary alumni network because I strongly recommend that recent graduates connect with former alums to learn about their career paths and gain insight into any suitable positions. If you would like to stay in an international environment, leverage your in-country/regional experience. Most important to any job search is to complete an honest self-assessment. Define your interests and your skill sets and then actively seek to connect with people who can link you to companies or roles that would fit you. Once you find that opening (even if it needs to be made for you) – sell yourself!
Christine continues her involvement with Rotary as a member of the Northeast LINK Committee, and will be joining the Alumni Association’s Charter Dinner at Northeast LINK in Boxborough, Mass. on September 28.
You can learn more about Christine’s story and career by visiting her Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum spotlight at http://www.wwlf.org/fellowship/christine_2013.cfm.