Morgan Stanley
  • Wealth Management
  • Dec 7, 2020

7 Pieces of Career Advice for Students

What should students know to successfully navigate their careers? Morgan Stanley employees shared these words of advice at our Virtual Career Day for Girl Scouts.

Working on a team of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors, Michelle Brandel often finds herself remembering life lessons from her time as a Girl Scout.

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The values she learned, such as service, honesty, respect, kindness and responsibility, “have contributed to the success in my career and the ability to build relationships with my peers, managers and, of course, clients,” said Brandel, a Morgan Stanley Service Professional in Coeur D'alene, Idaho.

Brandel was among the 25 Morgan Stanley Wealth Management employees, many of them former Girl Scouts, who shared career and life advice with scouts in high school and college at the firm’s virtual event, “From Girl Scouting to Financial Services: A Day in the Life at Morgan Stanley.”

“We wanted to provide girls with the opportunity to see our business as a possibility for their future and eliminate the stereotype that careers in finance are just for men,” said Jamie Luhrs, Executive Director and event co-host. “Our goal was to help them walk away with practical brand-building skills they can apply right now and carry with them throughout their academic and professional careers.”

Here are seven lessons that Morgan Stanley employees shared: 

1. Figure Out What Motivates You

“My first degree actually wasn’t in finance. I went to school to be a designer. But, luckily, I found my way into a career that I love because I was motivated by connecting with people and helping them thrive at what they do. Listen to your skills and indicators, because you don’t always end up where you thought you would go." —Hilary Sievers, Vice President, Field Leadership Development 

2. Don’t Go It Alone

“Success doesn’t happen alone; better outcomes arise from collaborating and partnering with others on a common goal. Collaboration is at the center of what you do as a Girl Scout and stays relevant for the rest of your life.” —Danielle Dimitriou, Executive Director, Wealth Management Investment Resources

3. Embrace the Challenge

“Challenge yourself professionally and personally. Life has many challenges and it’s important to embrace them. Step out of your comfort zone and overcome them. Be open to trying new things because you never know what you’re going to like as you get older.” —Michelle Brandel, Service Professional

4. Be a Leader Where You Are

“Some people think that leadership is something you have to achieve in the future, but you can be a leader right now, where you are. Some of the world’s most impactful leaders aren’t yet 25 years old. It’s really about your values. Ask yourselves, what can I do, where I am now, to drive what is right? If you do this and are willing to learn, stay humble and help others, then you are, by definition, a leader and will create paths for others. Feel confident that you already have that ability to lead within you, as you go forward in your life’s journey.” —Juneisha Burrowes, Executive Director, Risk Management 

5. ‘Own Your Story’

“If you’re able to know your story and own it—who you are and where you want to go—that’s your ticket. Think about where you are, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there, and don’t forget to ask for feedback along the way.” —Trevor Hambright, Talent Management, Human Resources

6. Keep an Open Mind

“When I was growing up, I defined success as wanting to be a doctor. I had a plan for when I would get married or what I would do in the future… but life doesn’t always go as planned. Since then, I’ve had eight different jobs in five different countries and, most recently, found my passion in helping people through my work as a Financial Advisor.”—Thien Le, Financial Advisor

7. Invest in Yourself

“It’s about investing in yourself, figuring out what building blocks you need to have in place to be successful. For me, it’s about having a coach and talking to the people around me to understand how I’m coming across. I’m constantly challenging myself to retool and do things differently, which isn’t always easy. Use that anxious feeling as energy, as fuel, to push through.”—Yvette Wynn, First Vice President, Private Banking Group 

At Morgan Stanley, our culture is about more than the work we do. It’s about the stories of our employees and the experiences they bring to our firm and the communities we serve. Our firm is committed to helping empower girls to take control of their financial lives and give them the skills they need to become business leaders, owners and investors. 

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