by April Oh Park
General Counsel and Managing Director
CitiFinancial, Part of CitiGroup Inc.
Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland
Web Site: www.citifinancial.com
Primary Business: Consumer Financing
Who in your family has had the most impact on your success? My parents, because they encouraged me to believe in myself. Looking back, I never once thought that being a girl, first generation immigrant, or coming from a family of moderate means, was ever a deterrent to my achieving my goals. My siblings and I were taught that you could do anything if you put effort into it. For a very long time, I thought everyone had the same abilities, and that differing results (e.g., grades, tests) were only due to varying degrees of effort. While I do now appreciate that some are more gifted than others, I greatly admire people who work extra hard to take full advantage of every opportunity.
What advice can you provide for young leaders? For me, this quote from Jim Rohn rings true: “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
Given the chance, would you do anything differently? Not at all. I feel very fortunate to have a job where I get to practice law, lead a team, and also be a part of the business senior management. While I had the opportunity to join the company much earlier in my career, I do appreciate the 12 years I spent at a law firm. I had a great mentor who guided me and taught me the importance of having mentors.
Education: J.D., University of Maryland, with honors; B.A., Political Science, Western Maryland College, magna cum laude, phi beta kappa
What I’m reading: What is the What, by Dave Eggers, Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri, and The New Yorker
My philosophy: Trust your instinct. Look for the best in people.
Interests: Bikram yoga, golfing, and cooking with my husband.