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As a recent college graduate, after having attended the second Future Leaders meeting out of four on September 29, it provided insight into a career in financial services for undergraduates. There are many fields that are unknown to many students attending college, making it hard for them to make choices on what they wish to specialize in. This event helps bridge that gap in knowledge by explaining more about the financial sect of jobs.

In this second event, guest speaker NAIFA trustee Evelyn Gellar, LUTCF®, RICP®, CLTC®, a well-known financial services agent and recruiter with New York Life, spoke on her experiences in the field, how she joined it, and how she has succeeded. She talked about how when she entered the field, she didn’t have a financial degree but instead was majoring in psychology. She emphasizes that you don’t need a degree specific to the financial field the be in the field and do well, you just need to have the willingness and capability to learn and work hard.

Gellar joined the financial services field straight out of college and proceeded to do well in the field, with no light effort on her part. In her words, “I did not believe I was a good fit for the field, my educational background, role-models, and learning style did not lead me to the idea that financial services was the field for me.” She soon found that to be baseless thoughts and learned that even if you have not majored in finance or business or had the role models to look up to, you can still do extremely well. Gellar also discusses how she experienced a structured work environment with a boss, vacation time, etc., was not the best fit for her. She doesn’t discount that style of work environment though, emphasizing that it just was not the correct fit for her, but it is for many people.

During this event, Gellar discusses how starting a practice is difficult but rewarding, and that you need to know your “why” for wanting to start a practice. She explains what her “why” is, providing an example of her line of thinking when she started her practice. She proceeds to explain how difficult the process of starting a practice can be, but also how rewarding it is. She also discusses the other factors that go into starting a practice, such as knowing what your personality strengths are and capitalizing on the strong points while working on the weak ones. One of the other factors is to know your local market, know who is competing in the same field as you, and understand what is making them successful, while coming up with something to help distinguish you from them.

Having recently graduated college, I found this event and speaker to be very informative and would have loved to hear the information that was provided before I had graduated. Being finished college does not negate this field or this type of entrepreneurship, however, it is certainly easier to understand the different elements of yourself when you start earlier rather than later. If you are someone who enjoys entrepreneurship, this is a great field to be in as it easily facilitates that style of work, though it takes time and a fair amount of effort to make a name for yourself.

I have found these events to be very informative and helpful for knowing what the financial services field is all about, and if you are interested, there are still two meetings left after this one. If you are interested in learning more about the field and how to get into it, as well as real experiences from real people, I would recommend signing up. This is very useful knowledge to have in general, but especially while you are in college and still deciding on a career path.

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