The world of finance isn’t just occupied by number-crunchers and economists. In fact, financial services companies are among the most innovative and customer-oriented, which is why they need such a broad range of talent to succeed.
Sarah is a perfect example of this. She recently graduated with a degree in philosophy and has a passion for creative writing—now she works for financial services leader Fidelity Investments as a Customer Relationship Advocate.
We spoke to Sarah about how she found her way into the finance world—and why working at Fidelity is a great opportunity to build a career (even if you never pictured yourself working in finance).
How A Liberal Arts Degree Can Lead To Fidelity Investments
Before coming to Fidelity, Sarah considered becoming a teacher and worked in a retail leadership role, but she didn’t feel that either of those were her calling.
“I wasn’t sure, to be honest, where I wanted to go,” Sarah tells us. “Finance wasn’t really on my radar at the time. I kind of always assumed that to be in finance you had to study finance, and that wasn’t really something in my plan.”
“It’s definitely been kind of a 180 for me,” she says.
When she heard about the Customer Relationship Advocate role and saw that it was open to people of all academic and professional backgrounds, her mind started to change. Once she took the job and began the training program, she knew she had found something special.
From Philosophy Major To Financial Guidance Provider
“What I love the most about working here is just how great the training program is,” Sarah says. “There’s a lot of support. I spent the first month learning how to do the basic jobs. Now I’m going through licensing.”
The goal of Customer Relationship Advocates is to help Fidelity’s customers solve their problems and access the right tools and services needed to help accomplish their financial goals. Essentially, they’re the front line between the company and the customer. To be successful in the role, you’ll need both knowledge of Fidelity and its products as well as general financial services knowledge and a desire to help others plan and succeed.
“It’s really kind of like being back in school,” Sarah says. “It’s just getting paid to study and learn, which is amazing.”
Between in-person classes, an online textbook, and the shadowing of current Customer Relationship Advocates, Sarah and her cohort are picking up all the necessary skills—and seeing how their career at Fidelity could unfold in the future.
“All of this training is to get us to a point where we’re confident and comfortable helping people plan for their future,” Sarah says.
If You’re Willing to Work Hard, You Can Build an Amazing Career
Because of the superb training program, Sarah feels the job is really accessible to anyone as long as they’re patient, persistent, and an excellent listener.
“It’s about being able to ask the right questions to help them find the other options they might have,” Sarah says. “It really is available to anybody if you’re willing to do the work.”
What was important to Fidelity were Sarah’s other skills—ones that had been with her throughout her life and career: communication, the ability to educate others, and the capacity to learn quickly and thoroughly about new things.
Sarah is excited about getting to combine her newfound knowledge of the financial industry with her customer-service mindset and people skills when she begins the Customer Relationship Advocate role in earnest. But even more than the role, she’s excited about a future at the company.
“It’s about the opportunity that I see here at Fidelity,” Sarah says. “It’s really a jumping-off point and way to open a career path for me.”
And with her time in the Customer Relationship Advocate role about to begin, the possibilities for Sarah are just about unlimited.
Want to start your own nontraditional journey into the financial services industry? Learn more about finance and Fidelity on the WayUp blog!