Planning Financial Futures

A Day In The Life of a Financial Advisor &
How to Become a Financial Advisor
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Job TitleFinancial Advisor
CompanyNorthwestern Mutual
LocationNew York, NY
Job TitleFinancial Advisor
CompanyNorthwestern Mutual
LocationNew York, NY


Part 1:

What do financial advisors do all day?

Welcome to Part 1 in the 2-part “Planning Financial Futures” Series. In this episode, we’re going to experience a day in the life, hour by hour, of Sam Syed, a Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual, so you can decide if this is a career you can see yourself doing! If you want to get into a more people-facing role in finance, this may be the career for you.

Krista [00:00:47] Welcome to Part 1 In the two part Planning Financial Future series. In this episode we’re going to experience a day in the life hour by hour of Sam Syed, a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual. So you can decide if this is a career you can see yourself doing if you want to get into a more people facing role in finance. This may be the career for you. Let’s get right into the day. 


Mat [00:01:18] It’s a Wednesday morning at 450 a.m. in New York City and Sam’s alarm is going off. He’s up by 5:00 a.m. to head to the gym and By 630 he’s out the door to attend his weekly networking group by 7 a.m.. After that Sam got quite the day ahead of him fielding underwriter requests reaching out to prospective clients and meeting with multiple current clients. Before we jump into the day let’s meet Sam and learn more about what he does. 


Krista [00:01:44] So Sam is a financial adviser for Northwestern Mutual which means he’s basically a planning partner for his clients to help achieve their long term financial goals. And the company does this through insurance and or investment solutions. There’s many different types of plans and solutions Northwestern Mutual offers like life insurance disability long term care and annuities which will get more into later on in this episode. But in order to help his clients he follows a four step process. 


Sam [00:02:13] First step approach is basically meeting someone from scratch and finding out where they are in their life and What their needs might be. If they have any financial debt, if they have any student loans anything in between and basically finding a solution in which we can help them. Stage two is basically sitting down with them and they’re actually going for a financial plan. And within that plan we can bridge the gaps in between what they were they think they are and how likely they are to achieve that goal and ask him loads of questions as many questions as we can. 


Sam [00:02:51] and the more questions they answer the more we can ascertain how we can help them and what we can put in place for them. Stage three is actually coming back with a financial plan for our clients and basically saying this is what you said, this is where you are. And if there’s any gaps in between that this is what we can do to fill those gaps and stage four is them taking action On that plan and then reviewing that plan on a regular basis as they get older as they start to perhaps have families if that’s what they’re looking for if they’re buying property or anything like that and we review that plan on an ongoing basis. So we try to simplify it in four stages. But it’s all designed to help them build that plan. 


Mat [00:03:34] Back to the day. It’s now 7:00 a.m. And Sam is meeting with his weekly BNI group BNI stands for Business Network International. The idea behind joining a BNI chapter is to network with people outside of your industry to generate leads, pass referrals and grow your business. 


Sam [00:03:51] we meet at seven o’clock, six thirty five to seven and a meeting starts sharply at seven fifteen. And basically everyone that attends a BNI meeting will have depending on the meeting reasonable size meeting 45 seconds to 60 seconds to stand up in front of usually 25 to 50 people in the room and say Something about yourself what you do you work for and we call it and ask and that ask is basically something you will looking for, someone you want to meet industry you want to be connected to any number and everyone has that time to stand up when that one’s listening to them and then one person a week will have 10 minutes to do a presentation and then once that goes rounds we have this part that meets where we all stand up and the main part the meeting is the passing of referrals and testimonials. 


Sam [00:04:51] It’s extremely important to get about and just meet new people regardless of what you’re doing. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the finance industry or not. It’s just good to meet people make friends get invited to that that barbecue party or beach party or whatever it might be. 


Krista [00:05:06] could you give some networking tips to the listeners who’ve never really done this before. Don’t really know how to start a conversation that’s meaningful or at least keep a conversation that’s meaningful. 


Sam [00:05:16] Yes. So the biggest tip first of all I’m going to say something which you probably didn’t know and I’m not joking. I get nervous in networking events. Can you believe? 


Sam [00:05:31] But I actually do get nervous. And but after speaking to one or two people it’s always meeting some fantastic people some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life have come through networking and I think look if you’re looking for a conversation starter it should really just be Hi my name’s Mike. What do you do or something like that and just listen to that and just listen and ask them questions and just so show them that you know you care and you think you want to talk to them. And very rarely thought said what I do. I’m sharing that one with you because someone told me that and it’s been a kind of networking coach for years because there’s a lot of people that walk around and say Hi my name is Sam. I’m a financial adviser. And then you kind of give em a business card and to move on to the next person the like who the heck was that you know I just have to think of something. If I’ve got a good suit say that’s a beautiful suit or that’s lovely dress or you know like oh how you are. What we’re about do you live in a you in a city outside the city. Anything that’s a conversation starter and not everyone’s going to be receptive talking to you. But guess what. Everyone’s in the same boat as you. 


Sam [00:06:44] My biggest tip and I say this for those that have got you there Your first networking event and it’s a big open space and there’s food and there’s drinks so you grab a little bit of food you grab a bit of drink and then you just sit in the corner and you look at your e-mails and all say that is something I’ve done multiple times in the past and if I can go back in time I would not have done that. So please just turn your phone off or put it in your pocket and then just focus on meeting people. 


Sam [00:07:15] and the last thing I’ll say is I’ve adapted I’ve grown to really just have three main meaningful conversations and everything else opponents as opposed to running around frantically trying to meet everyone. Your from what I’ve experienced this is just meet three awesome people you can build that relationship and then there’s always the other networking events. 


Krista [00:07:38] at eight thirty the meeting is over and the members participate in open networking while indulging in what’s left of breakfast. While that’s going on Sam has a committee meeting among chapter leadership to discuss logistics and feedback straight after being I Sam gets to the office to start the day. First things first Sam’s going through underwriter request e-mails client documents that kind of fun stuff. 


Sam [00:07:59] It’s stuff that accumulates the night before. And I want to make sure that my inbox is always clean. Some of these e-mails are extremely important and they need to make sure that I actually them meet me you the underwriters request emails If you know if someone’s been accepted some insurance then they might still needs outstanding documents from their clients.  Right for that kind of stuff.  


Mat [00:08:25] Can you explain what an underwriter is and kind of what the relationship between you and the underwriting team. 


Sam [00:08:32] Yes. So an underwriter is basically the person that will be viewing the insurance case that I put down in front of them. So you know you have Jack Sparrow right. He’s a well-known guy. Very risky very risky drinks a bit of rum. And I put Jack Sparrow to the table and they might turn round and say All right we’ve reviewed Jack Sparrow’s case think he drinks look at too much alcohol so we’re not going to give him the best rating we might give him X rating instead. 


Krista [00:09:04] S and what are the factors that go into this rating is how. 


Sam [00:09:08] There’s so much. We go for a vigorous medical. Well the medical is not vigorous. I mean it’s a blood test and a urine sample but depending on the complication of the case how big it is they might have extra requirements that you need to do and then it goes into a laboratory and the results will come out. And I can’t see that stuff that’s confidential but the information will go to the underwriter which is strictly confidential and the underwrites or even accept the case, rate the case which is change the Premier rating I give every client unless there’s something that sticks out or decline the case. And if the cases declines they don’t tell me the reason why it is declined. So they say this case has been declined due to confidential information. 


Sam [00:09:51] and that’s it. So you know it’s I wouldn’t say it’s a common case but you know not everyone’s accepted And that’s the hardest part the job because I love helping everyone and some of the clients then try to help him for another provider. 


Sam [00:10:06] A vital part of the job for anyone listening in the financial industry or anything if you’re looking to build a business it’s always prospecting. And once again my advice Be just to do it. You know the people the amount of people I’ve called out of the blue that were recommended to me from a long distant relative or a friend of a friend of a friend. You’d be surprised the amount those people were excited to get the call But also who have managed to really help in a big way. 


Krista [00:10:35] If your calls don’t and you act like they don’t want any financial advice or anything like that to have a structured follow up strategy, do you ever reach back out and when do you when don’t. 


Sam [00:10:48] so I think everyone’s different on this one for me. If someone’s not interested then I would ask them. I’ll say but can I call you in three months. And if I say you know Sam I’m really not interested. I would call it a day. And we do have a system in place for someone says don’t ever call me again. We have a Do Not Call list and that’s a serious thing. Yeah. You know callers that said you know we can’t call the prospects again. 


Sam [00:11:12] so we do really respects people’s decisions on the phone but we do have a follow up strategy. We do have a very good CRM and with that CRM we can basically log who we are speaking to note when they want to be called back. 


Mat [00:11:26] By the way when Sam is making these calls to prospective clients it’s never a cold call. He’s built a business up through referrals. It’s 11:00 a.m. and Sam hops on the subway for his 12 p.m. meeting in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. 


Sam [00:11:39] the train is my preferred method of travel in Manhattan as it’s usually faster. I’m straight down to four and five train trains the Green Line in Manhattan and I head to my meeting on the train I tend to read my preferred newspaper which is the Financial Times I tend to read when I’m traveling to avoid me just strolling. It takes more of my energy, my mental energy than anything else. 


Sam [00:12:02] you kind of realize that so much times go by. So I arrive to this meeting 30 minutes early. It is always good to arrive early. So this meeting is for Jack Peterson. He’s the founder of a large institutional non for profit. He’s 70 years old. He’s looking for a contingency succession plan for the day. Sadly no longer around Jack is the main fund raiser for his not for profit. And he’s not around one day then that charity could suffer. 


Sam [00:12:29] so what you have here is a case which could sound like a simple insurance plan. But the situation here is more complex. He has a few health issues. He has a few concerns on international travelling to name a few. And after an in-depth conversation during lunch and discussing his needs I see that I’ve got the information on a need to go for the underwriter and to see if there’s a chance for preapproval for life insurance. Now the reason why this one’s a preapproval, And we obviously can’t get for terms today because during this interview I found out that he’s actually had a number of declines from providers but he has had one approval so there’s the Golden Nugget. Right. So I’m now going to go back to my underwriter. And I’m going to show the case to the underwriters and say he has had a few declines but however he has had an approval and let’s see what we can do for that client. 


 [00:13:30] does that affect you like the credit score does?


Sam [00:13:34] No actually it doesn’t. I mean I guess to a certain extent yes for a couple of years or someone’s reputation. Hey guys it’s all medical. So sometimes they might write a case for a couple of years or decline the case and say come back in two years do another medical and we want to see this this and this done. So in that sense it’s like a credit rating. 


Mat [00:13:56] you usually travel to see your clients in person. Or is it mostly over the phone. I mean gone down to Brooklyn sometimes in the middle of the day could get pretty tiring. 


Sam [00:14:05] It can I. I try. I would always travel if the client needs me to travel. I sometimes have days with you’re here in this particular day and the rest of the meetings were in my office. If I need to travel I mean logistically sometimes doesn’t make sense. But I have been known to go downtown back up and then downtown again and then back up if it’s getting the job done and I’m meeting my clients then it’s you know I’m happy to do that. 


Krista [00:14:33] Sam says ninety five percent of his meetings with clients are face to face which makes sense. But he said he might cut back on that when he starts taking on clients from different states. He’s registered to work with clients in New York New Jersey D.C. Florida Texas and California just to name a few by the way to be a semi NATIONAL FINANCIAL PLANNER requires separate testing and registration fees per state. Those fees could range from one hundred dollars to almost 300 dollars. Something to keep in mind. 


Sam [00:15:03] It’s now 130 I’m heading back to the office. They go straight. That’s Brooklyn which has taken a fair bit. And then straight back up again for a two thirty meeting with Barry and Jennifer. They’re married young couple both aged 28 and who are planning to have children. They have no savings investments or insurance for they’re eager to get started. And I love that right. Doesn’t really matter where you are in life if you’re eager to do something then you are halfway there. You know if you haven’t got a job you’re eager to get that job when you have a job interview you’re halfway there. You know. So I get excited and people are eager. So after going through the fact find the process to ascertain where they want to be. We spoke about this earlier in the four stage process where they want to be and what they need to achieve that goal. We wrap up the meeting range that they early next week to meet again and put a plan in place. This meeting went very well. They both felt less anxious following the process and knowing that they had a plan ahead of them. And they also recommended six other couples. 


 [00:16:07] Three thirty 30 rolls around And Sam is on his way to a one to one meeting he’s having with a fellow BNI chapter member. He’s one to one meetings are meant to build deeper connections pass referrals and add value to each other. 


Sam [00:16:19] at 4.30, I have another client meeting of his own in the office. This is a 49 year old married couple and the children are finishing college and after the large outlay in university fees they’re based on a focus on their retirement And making sure that they have enough to comfortably. 


Krista [00:16:37] It’s five thirty. He’s met with all of his clients for the day and all that’s left is to go through any outstanding tasks and catch up on some emails. Now is a good time to talk about the different offerings Sam can provide his clients to achieve their long term financial goals? We mentioned it a little bit earlier at the start of the day but Sam’s going to teach us about life insurance disability insurance long term care and annuities. 


Sam [00:16:58] Well the idea is not to make my 18 year old listeners fall asleep. I’ll try my best. So anything from savings to investments is the basic stuff. You don’t need to have a lot of money to start saving. It’s all about saving right from the beginning. If you’ve only got ten dollars a week to save or a month to save then that’s fine. Just starting with that would help you getting into the habit of saving on a regular basis. Stuff like insurances, life insurance might sound obvious. 


Sam [00:17:26] There’s two types of life insurance. there’s term policies which as the name suggests only last for certain amounts of time and there’s whole life or permanent life insurance which as it says on the tin with permanent is forever and that always also has a savings components in it. Disability insurance which will cover you, God forbid if you become disabled and you could not perform your day to day role and that usually pays tax free on a monthly basis up to a certain age you can select the age but it usually caps 70 with Northwestern Mutual. Long term care is basically disability again but for older clients and those concerns they can’t perform basic needs day to day needs like eating. Sleeping, toileting and so forth and usually associate long term care of things like sadly things like dementia which is becoming Alzheimer’s. Things like that which sadly as people live longer, There’s a tradeoff and people become mentally ill at a later stage in their life. So long term care is looking after the elderly and annuities is basically something you save towards almost like a savings plan But at a later stage or pay a certain amount of money for a certain amount of time and I know it sounds vague but there’s many different types of annuities. 


Sam [00:18:51] basically it’s linked to retirement and you can select whichever annuity you’re looking for to fit your role. 


Mat [00:19:00] I mean you’re meeting all in one day a seven year old, Forty nine year old, Twenty six year old. How do you prepare yourself? How do you get yourself into different mindsets to talk to so many different people in so many different walks of life? So many stages of life. 


Sam [00:19:16] my youngest clients six months old and she can’t he can’t speak to me but the mom put a plan in place and the oldest client is 70. So this is definitely a longer time skill I got and that was basically from joining clubs in London. So whether its social club if you like bracketed like a tennis racquet club or a gym club whatever that club might be. It’s a great place to integrate with people from all different ages and all different walks of life. So that was my secret key to success in that sense. So that’s one aspect. And then I want to go too heavy on it but that’s another indirect way of saying networking Yes well because you know see I say these clubs way you have a common ground with it and that’s the key to common grounds between you and someone else of a different age that both a member of that club. 


Sam [00:20:10] Now if you if money’s tight or whatever it is you haven’t got a commitment to join the club. Then still networking can do the same objective because you’re both. That’s a network whether it’s just in someone’s lounge or whether it’s an upmarket thing or a free rooftop event whatever it might be. You’re going to be bumping into people from all different ages and speak to them. Those people are great to speak to a fantastic being around the block and they can give us some good tips. 


Mat [00:20:37] after he’s all caught up at 6 p.m. and Sam heads out of the office to attend an art show and a client’s gala. 


Sam [00:20:42] Basically the morning which you saw me do in the morning and I’m basically doing again I do obviously go for e-mails whenever I can in between quite me it’s always stack up. So that was a good day. It’s a good day. And some really good meetings and also go to once one with Good ol Steven Weise so fantastic day. Now I then head to an art show at the Lower East Side lots of art. You can choose your thing once I love off just love admiring art as an art science to escape and then you might just bump into a few people. So I’ll go that for an album and around seven thirty I’ll go to recline invitation for a charity gala. 


Sam [00:21:17] and I always love going to those. At ten thirty I’m heading back home I’m going to be asleep by eleven thirty because tomorrow starts again 4. 50 in the morning. If I can get five and a half hours sleep I’m a happy man. 


Krista [00:21:33] so you just experienced a day in the life of a financial adviser. But how does one actually become a financial adviser. In part two of the planning financial features series join us as we go through Sam Syed’s career journey and experiences leading up to where he is today. He got his foot in the door after university with a stockbroker apprenticeship eventually moved to Dubai took an opportunity to work in NYC only to go under forced unemployment. Let’s learn how Sam persevered. Stay tuned. 


Mat [00:22:00] at experience a day in the life. We’re building an online library of content all focused on a ADITL or a day in the life of different jobs and professions across the world in all different industries. So if you want to share your diddle you can do so at XADITL dot com slash share dash my dash ADITL. 


Krista [00:22:29] Thanks for listening. Head over to there you can find the show notes for this series and more A day in the life articles and you can get to know us and our guests more by joining our communities on social media follow at XADITL on Instagram and on LinkedIn by searching for Krista Bo and Mat Bo 


Mat [00:22:51] If you learn something in this episode please take some time to help our mission by leaving a positive rating and review of the show. Each week we bring you a new interview series with guests from different jobs and different industries in each series will live a specific day in the life hour by hour and experience their career journey so don’t forget to subscribe. 

Part 2:

In Part 1 we went through hour by hour a day in Sam’s life as a Financial Advisor. In this episode, we’ll take you through Sam’s career journey so you know what skills and experience are necessary to land a job as a Financial Advisor. Grit and networking got him into amazing career opportunities all across the globe and out of forced unemployment in NYC.

Mat [00:01:02] Welcome to part two in the two part Planning Financial Future series. In part one we went through hour by hour in a day in Sam’s life as a financial adviser. In this episode we’re going to take you through Sam’s career journey so you know what skills and experiences are necessary to land a job as a financial advisor. Grit in networking got him into amazing career opportunities all across the globe and out of forced unemployment in New York City. Let’s learn how he did it so you can too. 


Krista [00:01:33] Sam attended Bishop Hall sixth form in the UK as his secondary school and then at 16 he stayed on for another two years. During his time there he was the head of the charities committee and had the honor of being the head boy which is equivalent to being the class president in the United States. 


Krista [00:01:49] what did you know what you learn in that experience. 


Sam [00:01:52] I learned a lot. Actually I guess that’s where I really started taking responsibilities and that was where I started turning into an adult. 


Mat [00:02:00] Sam faced many tough career decisions in his life but his first one came to him at the young age of 18. 


Sam [00:02:06] At 18 years old I had a big choice to make and that was study history which was my favorite subject in school and become a barista which is like a lawyer. And I also at the same time was offered a stockbroking apprenticeship at a funny enough a US trading floor. Who would’ve known that would have ended up in the in the US and found my wife. But we’ll get to that eventually. So I had to think long and hard but eventually I chose the stockbroking apprenticeship route. 


Sam [00:02:37] And before I continue I would say any of those listening out there or to all of you I would strongly advise you to take your time before you make a decision like that because it was a tough decision to make. And it was a long gritty ladder that I had to climb with a lot of people realizing it wasn’t maybe the best job for them but I stuck out I started climbing up that ladder. 


Krista [00:02:58] you had all these interest rate but what made the apprenticeship stand out the most to you. And do you have any regrets on choosing that path. 


Sam [00:03:06] I know what chose it for me, I don’t know if it’s the right one. But I guess I would answer the question because not every single person I strongly believe that university is not for everyone. So it’s a good it’s a good question to answer. What did it for me was at a very young age I see passions history and my parents were market traders. So at a young age I used to see money crossing hands and I used to look up there and I used to question how much things cost. At a very young age so I guess I had a passion for some sort of trading. And when the opportunity came it was literally choosing out of two passions now. One of them was arguably both an incredibly hard to become a lawyer. There’s a lot of studying and to become a stockbroker there’s a lot of mental pressure and a lot of work as well that needs to be done. But I ended up choosing that one because maybe it paid me a little bit more quickly perhaps. 


Sam [00:04:01] And so you had to pass a number of exams in-house and you’ll probably hear the word grits from me quite often and I think that’s a word that associates with a successful financial adviser or someone in the industry and. I stuck it out. It’s about sticking it out. Paulson has exams hitting your targets and keep pushing forward. It’s funny because just as I started reaching that soft and I became successful as a small market and incidents called the recession.  Yes. And I had to completely change my game. So I studied for derivatives. In short it basically enabled me to make money for my clients or at least attempt to make money for my clients regardless of which way the market moves they can short sell the market. You can make money if the market goes down. And of course the traditional way that everyone knows is making money but buying stock when it goes up. 


Mat [00:04:59] you making any money on your side for yourself or is it all for clients. 


Sam [00:05:02] Sadly, I wish I could. Some big opportunities for me to make money but sadly it was a conflict of interest because with derivatives you can leverage. So we’re leveraging up to 10 times. So someone put down a thousand dollars you can leverage it to ten thousands it makes them. If some puts down ten, it can be a hundred and so forth. So the idea was because it was fast moving of a conflict of interest me purchasing any of those stocks because I could be doing my best interest in front of clients. It is very regulated industry. 


Krista [00:05:36] Like Sam said things in the financial industry change fast. You’ve got to get with the program or you’ll be left in the dust. After a couple of years at the apprenticeship Sam found himself at another crossroads. 


Sam [00:05:48] and then I was approached by a company in Dubai United Arab Emirates. I think I might have a resume somewhere out there and I was approached and they promised me tax free money and Eternal Sunshine. So it was a hard one to turn down. Did ponder on it and eventually I made the second Biggest decision, career decision I never made. It was extremely extremely hard. I moved to a desert. I say it’s a desert. It is a desert but it’s a beautiful desert and I didn’t know anyone. I did not know one person. In fact I knew one person from a friend of a friend’s looking greatest accomplishments I would say moving to Dubai was up there. 


Sam [00:06:34] I’d been there as a tourist for like with my parents and my brothers. About four years before that. And moving to a country to work is completely different from visiting that country. It is completely different. I arrived I was definitely overweight in terms of luggage and. I’m a Hurling All this stuff and trying to find my apartment and the company and I’m thinking to myself what have I done. I’ve I don’t know where the heck I am. It’s changed so much in the four years since I was there for five days as a tourist and this is this my is my home. You know the core language is Arabic. I don’t speak Arabic and fortunately its Western enough to speak English but still it was a mind blowing experience. And then the word grit comes in again. 


Sam [00:07:21] the first year was arguably the hardest year of my life. There will be times when I was in the office late at night you know a late night early morning of 12:00 1:00 in the morning and nearly in tears thinking to myself what the heck am I doing here and I want to go home. My friends are home and family were home and whatnot and I just stuck at it. I forced myself No no I’m going to I’m going to stick at this and I’m going to make it happen. And then things started changing. I had a large amount of clients come on boards and I started getting promoted within the company helping staff within the company running meetings and had a very successful career. 


Mat [00:08:03] Not only did he have a successful career there he was also living it up in Dubai. He told us world travel is one of the most important things anyone should do in their life. 


Sam [00:08:14] I started learning Chinese Mandarin when I was in Dubai. I went to safaris in Kenya and South Africa. I climbed Kilimanjaro. I ran a marathon which I said I’ll never do but it was during my time in Dubai ran the London Marathon for meningitis and just really opened my eyes and gave me the opportunity to do things and to travel the world and to experience different cultures. 


Sam [00:08:40] and that’s what Dubai brought for me. 


Mat [00:08:42] How important is it to go study abroad. Just travel abroad just for young students. How important is that. 


Sam [00:08:49] I would say that’s the most important thing you should do in your life. It was the most important thing I ever did. I’ve got goose bumps talking about this right now because I’m so passionate about this. I have a theory called awareness. I know it sounds silly but I believe that if you travel and work abroad you become aware. And if you are aware then you are one of the small percentage of the world that live in different countries or fully understands a different culture and there is different ways to do that. As you said you can study abroad. Live that for a short time. Or at least travel the world. But I was it was definitely the biggest thing that shaped me to become the man that I am today. 


Krista [00:09:26] At 28 years old. Sam was encountering another career crossroads to move or not to move to New York City. He was headhunted to move to the financial advisory company’s New York office to be an investment adviser on the one hand. He was established in Dubai. Got to travel and loyal clientele but ultimately decided to drop everything and move


Sam [00:09:47] and the main reason why I moved there was curiosity. Once again I went there as a tourist and New York is not the same place when you work there from when you go as a tourist. It was purely curiosity. I did not want to think ten years down the road what would have New York been like if I had moved that and seven days after I landed, I met my wife. So I should have met her two and a half years previously. We both had the same mutual friends. We was on this sailing trip increase. We didn’t see each other. Seven days after I landed in New York. There was a brunch literally six weeks later we were going on a saiding trip on the South of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. And she happened to go into that trip. So she was at the brunch and we met the brunch and the rest is history. We got married after five and a half months. 


Mat [00:10:43] Remember when we said the financial industry changes in the blink of an eye. Well in this case so did the status of Sam’s job. 


Sam [00:10:51] The company I moved over for had a large restructuring and they laid off 75, 80 percent of their staff and I was now going for grits again because I now had to wait for my work permit because I can no longer be in the United States anymore without a work permit. That work permit took six and a half months to arrive. I was under forced unemployment full speed in the sense that I was offered jobs by what would stand a prospect job by UBS and by Northwestern Mutual. And I couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t allowed to work. So I waited for my work permits to arrive. During that time believe it or not if I left the country I would have been restricted from re-entering for around 10 years and if I had a job during that time periods I would have been left the country and probably not allowed to enter at all because I wasn’t allowed the job and getting the job. 


Sam [00:11:48] and I’ll share that with you because of my purely because of my listeners. And that’s because it’s very easy at that stage to go back to a place of comfort. Maybe go back to Dubai try and get some clients back, maybe go to the UK and start something there. But no, I stood grounds waited for that work permit to arrive and I chose Northwestern Mutual as the as the career that I wanted to take. 


Krista [00:12:11] from jumping to different companies do the clients ever come with you. 


Sam [00:12:16] sadly not especially being in the states as different rules from managing clients’ portfolios. If you’re in America you know it’s a nine hour time difference from Dubai. So the clients world looks after within the company you know has just pass them back to the company and then there was another senior adviser that’ll look after those clients. 


Krista [00:12:34] Sam’s got some insight on how to impress the hiring managers at financial companies. 


Sam [00:12:38] I would just say be yourself and be calm. They’re not there to eat you alive. 


Sam [00:12:44] Yeah it does. You know it does feel like it. It does feel like it for everyone is this in there. But I can say you one thing I in fact let me let me go back to when I was before it’s at that stock broken apprenticeship I managed to get an interview at Credit Suisse and they’re international and I from the friend I’ve got an interview. And let’s just say I did not get the job because I was not myself. I was not cool calm and collected. I was completely flustered. I think I arrived two minutes late which is that no. And I was sweating and everything. 


Sam [00:13:19] so she politely told me that I didn’t get the position. And she said Just be yourself next time. So now fast forwarding to answer that question I think you should definitely just be yourself and trust your ability if you want to move into this industry. You’re ready halfway there. You think you know what you want to do just portray that in an interview. Just be yourself. They are human beings behind that they’re not that’s what your life is just trying to see your qualities name your qualities. Tell them what you’re good at, tell them what you can bring to the company and that will help you. 


Mat [00:13:49] so what was the process of getting the job at Northwestern. 


Sam [00:13:53] so many interviews but I will say I will say that they were very they are an awesome company. And the interviews were sometimes extensive, they put you to the test to more to make sure that you’re able to do the job is more for your own benefit. And I think that’s what people should understand when they get interviewed for financial companies is that what they’re doing. Is to see whether you are made for the job. It’s not even about them to the most extent and that’s why I finished off a few minutes back by saying see what you can offer them. They want to see you are hungry and you can help the company grow. If you really understand that, interviews are extremely easy. You don’t have to be cocky in that sense but it’s just a case of you know listening to their questions and just answering truthfully and showing how you can benefit them which is good. 


Mat [00:14:43] and now we’re here today. Now we’re here today. 


Krista [00:14:45] could you go briefly into like what the different stages of the interviews are just so that our listeners are prepared. 


Sam [00:14:51] I don’t want to scare my listeners. I was very fortunate. I was meant to have an interview with a lady which tried to initially get me in for a job interview actually I say fortunate not dependent on listen and you can see whether or not your cup is half full or half empty. 


Mat [00:15:08] this next story you’re about to hear. We want you to think about what you would say in this situation. Would you say anything at all? What’s your elevator pitch? 


Sam [00:15:16] I say fortunate by accidentally bumping into the managing partner of our office in Northwestern Mutual. And he was the person that interviewed me on my very first interview. The reason why I see that as an opportunity is because I am talking to the main person within my boss’s boss essentially who was who was interviewing me and that’s the difference that you know it’s just that opportunity you can have. 


Krista [00:15:40] some people are like super scary. 


Sam [00:15:42] Someone might be scared…I’m talking to the main person but you know it’s if you’re once again if you’re saying who you are what you can do what you can bring to the table when how you can help the company grow. You just said but that being aside me still had a lot of interviews. I was just mainly wants to see a general chat about you know my my story while I’m in New York. Why do I think Northwestern Mutual can be a good fit? What they can bring to the table for me and how they can help me grow my career. The second one was like this test I don’t know if I should. I mean this is basically just a test to see where a score in terms of self-discipline and by the way there’s no real answer for these things You don’t have to fake them literally be yourself and put you into a category and they’ll basically just see if you if you’re someone that puts your head down and studies more, if you’re someone that goes out there might need assistance on those things. 


Sam [00:16:37] I believe there’s another two more but they were fun and they should be. I think these days especially in New York fortunately I’ve only been in the interviewing side once and that’s with Northwest Mutual but I believe financial companies might do the same thing. I don’t think it’s a one interview in your you’re all set. It’s probably going to be two or three. Just always be yourself and you’ll be fine. 


Mat [00:16:56] Sam got the job at Northwestern Mutual as a financial advisor and he works with his clients to achieve their financial goals through insurance and investment solutions. There’s many different types of plans and solutions Northwestern Mutual offers but in order to help his clients he follows a four step process mentioned in Part one you would think that working for a big company like Northwestern Mutual means that there wouldn’t be any room for an entrepreneurial mindset. But think again. 


Sam [00:17:23] Northwestern Mutual have been around for 161 years. What they do they do very successfully? They do promote entrepreneurial skills and promote us growing as individuals within the company. You can grow you can set up your own team and then within that team you can branch off as a network office and still work within Northwestern Mutual. So yes I’d very much say that they do promote us to be entrepreneurial and grow within ourselves and grow the company. 


Mat [00:17:54] that wraps up part two in the planning financial future series. Huge thanks to Sam for sharing his wisdom throughout this experience a day in the Life series. If you haven’t already be sure to listen to part 1 in this series to experience a day in the life of a financial adviser. 


Krista [00:18:11] so they say you can’t get a job without experience but need experience to get the job. But luckily we have quite the experience. You can join our team and experience a day in the life of the jobs you want by applying to be a student editor regardless of your major or amount of experience this is the perfect stepping stone into any internship or career. Find more info and sign up at XADITL dot com slash students that’s slash students. Thanks for listening. Head over to XADITL dot com. There you can find the show notes for this series and more a day in the life Articles and you can get to know us and our guests more by joining our communities on social media follow at XADITL on Instagram and on LinkedIn by searching for Krista Bo and Mat Bo. 

Mat [00:19:01] if you learn something in this episode please take some time to help our mission by leaving a positive rating and review of the show. Each week we bring you a new interview series with guests from different jobs and different industries. In each series will live a specific day in the life hour by hour and experience their career journey so don’t forget to subscribe.

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