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Unique paths lead to financial services careers: Panel Discussion

The Financial Alliance for Racial Equity hosts educational and recruitment event for HBCU students and alumni

FARE-HBCU-Event (1)

As diverse graduates and young professionals begin their search for fulfilling careers, a role in the financial services industry may be an unexpected surprise. That was true for Lucy Bosworth, whose path began as a graduate with French and History degrees before she joined M Financial. The same is true for NFP’s Travis Harris, who worked as an education administrator and spent over a decade building relationships in his field.

Bosworth and Harris were featured in a panel discussion titled, Beyond the Basics – Navigating from Senior in College to Senior Professional. Leaders from several members of the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE) discussed the various paths they took to find themselves in the financial services industry. Some panelists had the intention to join the industry since childhood and others unexpectedly welcomed the opportunity to pivot from their current careers to new and dynamic opportunities in financial services.

As part of its effort to increase the number of diverse professionals entering the financial services industry, FARE hosted the first in a series of virtual events to connect students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with leading financial service organizations. FARE is focused on promoting change within the financial services industry by attracting more diverse talent and supporting them with resources, scholarships, training and professional development to help them advance in their careers.

FARE financial firms including Nationwide, M Financial, NFP, and Franklin Templeton had executives and young professionals participate in the panel to provide career insight and advice for diverse students and alumni participating in the event.

Kristi Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, was the keynote speaker of the event and also a driving force behind the creation of FARE.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to meet and encourage diverse students and professionals to learn about the vast career options in our industry,” said Rodriguez. “FARE strives to help talented diverse students and professionals gain access to resources and potential opportunities available in financial services. Along with FARE member firms, we look forward to supporting these and many more bright students and professionals with an interest in the ecosystem of financial services careers.” 

Rodriguez noted that, from the 300 HBCU alumni and students who registered in February, Nationwide has started the talent acquisition and interview process for full-time and internship opportunities.

Featured panelists:

  • Nationwide’s Chris Graham, VP CIO Funds and Aaron Ervin, Financial Services Analyst
  • M Financial’s Lucy Bosworth, VP Marketing & Practice Consulting and Jason Kronstad, Wealth Management Analyst
  • NFP’s Mike James, EVP Head of Individual Solutions and Travis Harris, Employee Benefit Advisor
  • Franklin Templeton’s Kendra Myers Williamson, VP National Account Manager and Alicia Tennell, Digital Strategy & Fintech Analyst

Watch the video above to hear insights and advice the featured panelists shared such as asking more questions, leveraging your career center, and to be curious.