Name: Maria Belen Garcia Mirri
When did you join JTC? 2013
“I have now been here in South Dakota for over a year, and more than eight with JTC, and I can say that the Gateway move is the best decision I’ve made.”
What was the opportunity, and why was it appealing to you?
It’s worth saying that this is my second Gateway opportunity with the Group. I started working with JTC in 2013, when we had an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was born and raised. I worked there for four years when the opportunity to go to Miami for three months arose. They needed my help with the initial set up of the structures with a South Dakota Trustee, so I was involved with the project from the very beginning (even before we had a license).
I finally moved to Miami in 2017 and started working alongside South Dakota (although we didn’t have a formal office at that time) and clients on the onboarding and set up of the structures. It was a whole new world for me, as my experience with the trust business was limited. I was more used to private companies as I had been working pretty much with our BVI team for the four years I was in Argentina. (My daily video calls with Trisha George, Arlene Thomas, Celine Alphonso-Hodge are one of the things I miss the most about that time).
Although I travelled to Sioux Falls for long periods of time, I was formally based in Miami for a further three more years. It was a great but stressful period, providing me with the best learning experiences. I was able to gain significant knowledge about trust administration from various people, but above all, the value of this team that we have now.
Being able to have worked in many areas of the business (just a bit of sales, onboarding and now trust admin) makes me appreciate my everyday role even more. The work from this office is massive and there is a lot of heart and time put into it. Leading from the top with Managing Director Michelle Le Herissier and Director Bruce Bogue, to my amazing Senior Manager Bill Blewett and the rest of the team, we wouldn’t be what we are now (and what we will become) without any of them and others who have contributed to growth.
I have now been here in South Dakota for over a year, and more than eight with JTC, and I can say that the Gateway move is the best decision I’ve made.
How supportive was JTC during your transition?
Very much! I think they were as happy as me that I was relocating, and they were very caring. The stress of moving to a new place is not something that can be expressed with words, but everyone always helped me feel very welcome.
What do you like about living in South Dakota?
The quietness and the people. I lived in Buenos Aires most of my life, and for those who don’t know, it is a very busy, very noisy, very loud city! The experience of silence is one of the things I appreciate most about Sioux Falls. Also, being able to be in a safe place, with the friendliest people I have ever met is amazing.
Can you share a fun fact or bust a myth you’ve learnt about South Dakota since living there?
Midwesterners are incredibly polite and don’t want to be perceived as rude. It sounds obvious, being kind to others, but they really are so sweet and down-to-earth.
How did your family and friends feel about the move?
They were very supportive, and I actually believe my Mom might have been secretly working alongside JTC to make this happen! She always saw a bigger and better opportunity for me abroad.
What lessons did you learn from this experience?
So many along the way in my career with JTC. Changes can be good and sometimes great, that I can adapt to any situation, and that I can become a better professional with the help of my colleagues.
What was the big highlight?
The team for sure. Although I got support and encouraging words from many of the JTC family members, everyone here in South Dakota makes it special for me to come to work every day because we share the highs, we help each other to go through the lows and make sure to make each other smile when we need it.
Winter, did I mention it already? SO COLD! I mean like the average high in January is minus four and it can drop to minus 14! It is beautiful in the movies, but if you have to go outside for any reason, trust me, it’s not so good …
Why do you think the experience that Gateway offers is important?
To be able to see the world with different eyes through different perspectives. Not just because of personal experiences because of the different cultures and working and appreciating the work my professional colleagues put into this every day.
What advice would you give someone considering a career at JTC?
Take it. You can always change your mind if you realize is not for you, but the opportunity will not knock on your door again, do not regret it.