Alumni / March 29, 2021

Growing through Open-Mindedness

Working for a global company requires growth and an openness to learn. For Rachel Yamrus, vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC), finding success in a global environment means “you are aware of your perspective but trying to grow through opening yourself up to others’ perspectives and negotiating within this space.”

Yamrus works on a team that works on an international accounting standard with financial controllers at various legal entities in all continents except Antarctica. She defines a global mindset as “being aware of what shapes your cultural perspective and that others bring their own experiences, values and beliefs.” Yamrus gives an example of how she uses this definition of a global mindset in her role at JPMC. “When working with others globally, I think it’s helpful to start each conversation at a broad level and navigate the interaction after hearing the other person’s perspective and familiarity with a topic. Being interested in learning more about a person’s background and work environment definitely cultivates a better working relationship. This also helps when you need someone else’s help down the line, and it’s made me more inclined to help others that have made the effort to get to know me better as well. The information exchange broadens your perspective and also makes you a more valuable employee,” she states.

Yamrus says self-awareness and humility are essential for developing her global mindset. “Self-awareness is being respectful and being okay with not knowing the answer or needing to check, and humility is being vulnerable and asking questions to get to the right answer. For example, for the international accounting standard I work on, different regulators have different needs, including timing and interpretation of the same accounting standard. Talking with someone in a different region about the context behind any task helps you get to an answer using the data you have,” she explains.

Yamrus says the University of Maryland’s reputation and resources are what attracted her to the Smith School of Business. “The Smith School of Business and its resources allowed me to get into a role that combined what was important to me, namely a field that was both intellectually stimulating and still reflected my goals of having a good work-life balance and embracing other cultures. The global mindset is kind of a natural trajectory going into finance because the industry is global,” she states. Yamrus advises current students and fellow alumni interested in a global role to be open-minded and seize new opportunities. “Try to work with a global company to get exposure to other cultures. You can always seek out or volunteer for additional projects if you are not given the opportunities from the outset. Also, be open-minded to whatever opportunities come your way,” she says.

When asked about being a woman in global business, Yamrus states “as a woman in the workplace, others may challenge you or question your competence in a way they would not do for your male counterparts. But in a global business with a wide variety of employees, hopefully, this antiquated mindset will be diluted, and you will be able to find colleagues who are either without or aware of such biases.”

The mission of the Center for Global Business is to connect the diverse members of the Smith School community to the world and the world to the Smith School. Through these global alumni stories, the center connects the Maryland Smith community with alumni who have successfully utilized a global mindset in their careers.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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