Corner Of The Court: Michelle’s Story

Male Allies and Mentorship - MichelleStories of Male Allies, Told by Women
 
Corner of the Court is a monthly feature on MARC published in partnership with The Corner of the Court Project, recognizing stories of male allies' impact on workplace inclusion, told by women. 

For more stories (or to submit your own), visit 
cornerofthecourt.com.
 
By Michelle Wong. As a woman and a minority in the early stages of my career, I’ve quickly learned the importance of having a mentor, especially in the male-dominated wealth management industry.
 
I met Todd Norris while working for a local Registered Investors Independent Advisor as a Financial Advisor’s Client Service Assistant. When my team was still fairly new, we brought on Todd to support our planning needs.
 
With both of us new to the firm, I found myself helping Todd learn the ropes with operational procedures, while he educated me about financial planning. In the wealth management industry, it is hard to advance without planning knowledge. Todd always graciously reached out to help me understand the reasoning behind certain planning tools and why they were beneficial for the client.
 
It is one thing for someone to find time in a busy schedule to help you, but it is another for that person to make time. I was spending every day in a very fast-paced environment with no time to breathe. Todd always offered to help me with not only financial planning, but also with my own duties. Through his guidance, he added value to my experience and heightened the quality of my work.
 
Not long after we met, we convinced each other to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exams, a series of exams required to receive one of the most prestigious designations in the industry. While Todd was already a Certified Financial Planner, his hard-working demeanor paired with his laid-back personality made it easy to trust and confide in him about the constant stress I felt with both work and my studies. He taught me the importance of work-life balance and to worry less.
 
While we are not currently working together, Todd has made a tremendous impact on my career and work ethic. The industry itself can be very demanding, but knowing I have an ally on my side who offers praise and support when the possible seems impossible makes the routine demands of work more enjoyable.
 
In the wealth management industry, where women’s interest flags, I believe having a male ally to help you progress to the top is one of the hidden secrets to success, and I am extremely thankful for Todd’s support as both a colleague and a friend.
 
Michelle Wong, Client Relationship Specialist, Pinnacle Advisor Solutions
Baltimore, MD
Posted by Jared Cline on Aug 23, 2017 9:46 AM America/New_York
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