Maddy Aldave portrait
career outcomes
March 22, 2021

Breadcrumbs

More than managing money: Alumna uses MS in Finance at helm of Fortune 100 transition

Why it matters:

Madison Aldave’s role in Citigroup’s office of the CEO’s chief of staff is anything but typical. She credits her ability to juggle everything at once to the well-rounded skillset she gained at Carey.

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Maddy Aldave (MS, Finance ’17) has rapidly risen within Citigroup since her start there in 2016. In the summer of 2019, she was promoted to associate and had secured a permanent spot on the Leveraged Loan desk with her own trading book.

She was accelerating quickly through Citi’s analyst program. But when an associate position opened in the office of the CEO’s chief of staff, Aldave jumped at the opportunity.

“It was a two-year sprint to the end of the analyst program, and I ended up with a great role,” Aldave said. “But when this opportunity came up, I knew it was something I had to go for.”

Citi invited all global candidates at Aldave’s level to apply, so she knew the applicant pool would be extremely competitive. But after she interviewed with Michael Corbat, Citi’s then-CEO, she walked away with an offer.

Transitions and breaking the glass ceiling

Aldave transitioned to Corbat’s three-person chief of staff team in March 2020, just as the world’s health and financial structures began to quake under the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I immediately had a bird’s-eye view of the entire firm navigating a public health crisis,”

“I immediately had a bird’s-eye view of the entire firm navigating a public health crisis,” Aldave said. “It opened my eyes to how massive and far reaching Citi truly is and how much work it requires to make every part of the bank go around.”

While the bank was busy adjusting to the pandemic’s effects, Corbat announced his retirement after 37 years at Citi. Jane Fraser, Citi president and CEO of global consumer banking, was announced to replace Corbat in March 2021. Fraser is the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank.

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“It gave me chills when it was announced. She’s making history,” Aldave said. “I’m so grateful to be part of her team.”

Aldave transitioned onto Fraser’s team and began the behind-the-scenes work to onboard a CEO at the helm of the country’s third-largest bank. Citigroup was ranked 31 on the Fortune 500 list in 2020.

“It’s hard to pin down what a typical day looks like, but most of the work is relatively fast paced,” Aldave said. She’s responsible for guiding and supporting the strategy around Fraser’s regulatory and government affairs, board, and internal and external engagements.

Aldave credits her ability to juggle everything at once to the well-rounded skillset she gained at Carey.

Soft skills: Utilizing a master’s in finance

Entering Carey with an undergraduate degree in economics from Johns Hopkins, she initially brought a liberal arts understanding to finance.

"I’ve used my master’s more than I originally thought I would have. You’re in class with the brightest students. Just the name Johns Hopkins attracts top students from all over."

“I’ve used my master’s more than I originally thought I would have,” Aldave said. “You’re in class with the brightest students. Just the name Johns Hopkins attracts top students from all over. I was more local having grown up in Baltimore, but we had such a global class. It was a great experience to learn from so many perspectives and be challenged academically while studying real business cases.”

Aldave continues to draw on the soft skills gained during her degree program.

“In my entrepreneurship class, one of our projects was to create a business plan. I actively use those project management and planning skills I gained during my time at Carey in my current role,” she said. “I am constantly working with our businesses and functions across the firm to help [Fraser] execute her top priorities. Looking back, Carey helped me to better develop my strategic thought process.”

In addition to providing a strong foundation, Aldave says, her Carey courses will help her grow in her career.

“This seat has allowed me to see the bank from such a unique point of view,” Aldave said of her current position. “I have no doubt the skills I learned at Carey helped me excel over the last year and will continue to take me forward in the years to come.”

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