Being a leader means you never stop learning
I can attribute much of my success to the role models I have had in my life and those who shaped me into the leader that I am today. Now, I love giving back and doing what I can to help mentor young professionals. I feel a sense of responsibility to show other women that they can have a successful career in banking. I strive to be the best I can be both at work and in the community. Below are a few pieces of advice I have gathered over the years.
Make your own path
Financial services allowed me to merge my two favorite things: factual decision making and getting to know and help people.
I started as a teller for Bank IV, which is still one of my favorite jobs. I moved up through the retail side of the bank into training and then management. I was then fortunate to move to the wealth management side of the business, first in private banking and now in financial planning at UMB. My advice to others is to try everything. You’ll never know what aspect of the banking and finance world you will like best without trying your hand at it first. In fact, the first time I realized I was viewed as a leader was when a co-worker came to me for advice. That’s a moment that has stayed with me. Remember, there is no set path that you need to take to be successful in your career.
Find a mentor
When I first started in the finance industry, I was very much influenced by the few women who were leading teams and organizations at the time. I watched, took notes and was able to learn from them. I’ve also been fortunate to work for some excellent leaders, both men and women, and have learned how to motivate people to be their best in their own personal way.
I have always looked up to people who radiate confidence and admire women who have found success in typically male dominated fields while also maintaining their own strong identity. I still strive to be that way. Today, I act as a mentor to younger women in our company. I’m always pleased to offer feedback on questions or issues I may have experience with but they are experiencing for the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and review your work; it will only help you get better.
Be strong and don’t lose your sense of self
Your strongest qualities tend to be those that come naturally to you. Always be yourself and don’t be afraid to voice your opinions. Our industry values rational decision making, and I try to coach young women and other mentees to make thoughtful, factual decisions.
Never stop learning
Coaching is very much my leadership style. I’ve always loved helping others learn and develop individually while supporting and growing the overall team. I’m a life-long learner and I value that quality in others.
One of the best parts about my job is my clients. I’m very much a people person and being able to share in people’s lives and help them work toward their goals is the most rewarding thing I could ask for. Everyone has different ways of thinking, and I can learn something new every day from the people I work and interact with, which makes me better at my job.
I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by the Wichita Business Journal‡ as a member of the Women Who Lead in Financial Services class of 2020 and look forward to continuing to mentor young professionals and give back to the Wichita community.
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