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As a recent college graduate, after having attended the third Future Leaders meeting out of four on October 6, I gained insight into a career in financial services for undergraduates. There are many fields that are unfamiliar to students attending college, making it hard for them to make choices on what they wish to specialize in. NAIFA's Future Leaders series helps bridge that gap in knowledge by explaining more about the financial sector of jobs.

In this third event, the guest speakers, NAIFA members Cheryl Canzanella, Derek Scheetz, Mimie Yoon Lee, and John D. Richardson, talked about the experiences that led them down the path to where they are now. Each speaker had a different path, Canzanella is a Brokerage Director with Liberty Mutual, Sheetz is a Financial Advisor with Lifetime Financial Growth, Lee is an Executive Director with High Tower Advisors, and also the NAIFA-CA President, and Richardson is a Comprehensive Fee-Based Financial Planner with Boundbrook Advisors. Similar to the previous Future Leaders meetings, this one consisted of the guest speakers discussing their entry into the financial services field, along with advice and tips they have acquired through their experiences. 

Every one of the speakers had a different path that got them started in the industry, however, the message that was similar across all of them was that the field of financial services is one that they fell into and had not planned to be in from the beginning. Their stories show that regardless of education or age, as long as you can learn and put in the work, you can do well in this field.

The information shared regarding the careers of each speaker, along with how they became so successful was very impactful and would be great advice for anyone considering this type of work for their career themselves. It is especially relevant to college students who are still looking into fields and don’t know exactly what they want to do quite yet. The key qualities discussed that help lead to success in this industry are, have a clear goal to work towards, be willing to take a leap of faith, put in the time and effort required to accomplish your goal, and know your target audience.

While listening to each of the speakers discuss their experiences in the field, I discovered different aspects of this field that I had not considered before, opening my eyes to new ways to think. It is important for anyone considering this field to understand what it takes to be in it, along with thinking about problems in a more out-of-the-box mindset. For those who are in college and still considering their career options, look into what really goes on in the financial services industry and consider whether it might fit with what you like. If you are a person who likes to build relationships and have great interactions with the people you are working with, even outside of the office, then this might just be the field for you.

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 reviewing the recorded Future Leaders sessions. They provide 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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