Of all the benefits Bank of America Merchant Services receives as sponsor of the Global Sales Program at Florida International University, one of the best to date came to fruition this summer when Jonathan Lopera joined our small business sales team in Miami as its newest business consultant. Lopera is Bank of America Merchant Services’ first hire from FIU’s Global Sales Program, a conjoined training initiative launched last year.
This is his first job out of college, and one he earned through rigorous relationship-building with Bank of America Merchant Services’ senior sales leaders and recruiting team during the course of his FIU college experience. Lopera had been immersed in the university’s robust sales development program for several years, earning a Bachelor of Marketing degree with an emphasis on sales and customer relationship management.
Through all the sales competitions and bilingual role plays he participated in, and his leadership responsibilities as the vice president of FIU’s Sales Society, it was Lopera’s relationship with Diego Duque, regional sales leader for small business at Bank of America Merchant Services, that was the determining factor in Lopera’s accepting his job offer.
“Jonathan impressed me right from the start, but he still had two more semesters to complete when I first met him, so we stayed in touch,” said Duque, who has been heavily involved with FIU since the company’s three-year partnership was announced last fall. Duque noticed that Lopera consistently placed as a finalist or won every challenge he competed in, and worked hard to recruit FIU students to the university’s sales program. “Sales is in his blood. I knew he was the perfect fit for our business and our company.”
But it was a chance encounter at FIU’s Industry Night event last fall that changed the course of Lopera’s future. Duque invited Lopera for an informal conversation that turned into a job interview. Lopera was intrigued.
“Even before considering the opportunity at Bank of America Merchant Services, I had built such a genuine connection with Diego and many others,” explained Lopera. “It was that organic relationship that made me change my mind and want to join the organization. Their support really sold me.”
Lopera is looking forward to his formal sales training at our Richmond location, where he’ll be in the field shadowing other business consultants, participating in financial center huddles and visiting clients. “It’s been a great privilege to be part of FIU’s Global Sales Program,” said Lopera. “I am excited beyond words to begin this new chapter of my life here.”
This summer marks another milestone between Bank of America Merchant Services and FIU with the creation of the 2019 Summer Internship Program. Beginning in June, a select group of FIU juniors and seniors were assigned projects, participated in presentations with company leaders, and gained unprecedented exposure to multiple organizations within the small business segment. With the ultimate goal of opening doors for promising students to learn about Bank of America Merchant Services and potentially move into sales positions, Lopera’s story is a shining example of the FIU partnership’s success.