Project Description

David Josephson
Western Regional Director
Export-Import Bank of the United States

Describe your typical day at work.

I spend 70 percent of the day on the phone with exporters, hearing their export transactions and the credit and finance requirements thereof. I spend 20 percent preparing for, or giving, presentations at trade/export seminars. Last, I spend 10 percent training and reporting as required of a U.S. government employee.

What was your career path?

International Banking – trade finance, international correspondent banking, and cross-border corporate lending at U.S. banks’ international divisions based in USA; London, England; South America, and Asia. Then, international merchant banking providing debt, equity, and trade/technology transfer opportunities to companies in South America wishing to break into the USA and other mega markets as suppliers and traders. Then, international private equity formation and investment. Then, Regional Director for EXIM Bank.

What personal qualities have helped you become successful?

Love of foreign languages and cultures; curiosity about getting to the root and bottom of an international financial transaction; desire to gain trust with financial and industrial operators in other countries; willingness to work hard and persist.

What advice would you give someone seeking a career in your field?

Decide if you want to work with the best. If so, find a job in New York, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, or Sao Paulo and learn from the best. If you want to stay close to home, find the companies that have a global view, sharpen your skills with continued education, and relentlessly pursue them to hire you.

How do you see the future of the profession? What are the positions in this field with the most potential for growth?

There will always be an international business emphasis in the business communities. Banking, insurance, medical technology, IT, law, environmental technology and equipment are filled with opportunities to do business in a global arena.

Why did you choose a career with an international focus?

Engaging in international business versus pure home business is like the difference between seeing a movie in full technicolor, or just in black and white. Learning foreign languages and culture and then getting an international deal done when others might have given up early in the game is immensely satisfying.