Jyoti Menon


Jyoti Menon is an alumna from Barnard College and is currently an Alumna Trustee on Barnard’s Board of Trustees.  She earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.  Menon began her career at Goldman Sachs’ Commodities Trading Middle Office and is part of the Global Corporate Services team at American Express, focusing on building robust mobile travel and expense solutions for corporate travelers.


What are the three most important characteristics of a woman leader?
Being genuine, being skilled at what you do, supporting and guiding other women leaders (current, or in the making).


When do you feel at your best?
When I am enjoying time in the company of close friends and family, when I know that I have accomplished something that I felt was a challenge, waking up after a great night of sleep.


What did you do in your first year after College?
I worked in Commodities Middle Office at Goldman Sachs


What does it mean to be a “successful” woman?
That varies for different people. Success is how you define it for yourself. For some, success is based on a career climbing up a ladder, for some it is being the best in an industry, for others, it could be having a family. And, of course there are many other variations within that. For me, it is having strong relationships with family and friends, having a growing career, giving back to my community, and enjoying life.


What challenges do you think women in finance face today?
In some companies, there is still a sense of a “boys club” and so I think one challenge is finding a way to break into that while still being true to your own personality. Beyond finance, I think women need to continue to improve self-promotion and take risks and push the boundaries when looking for new opportunities.


What was your biggest mistake?
I wish I took time off to travel on my own between college and starting work.


What do you do when you need a moment?
Zone out by watching television.


Give yourself a compliment.
I am committed to giving back to the community I live in.


If you could give “the college you” one piece of advice what would it be?
Take more risks.