This Morgan Stanley branch manager and working mother is a mentor to many. She recognizes her responsibility as a leader to use her voice to advocate for others, which is her favorite part of her job.
Jennifer McGlynn grew up in Philadelphia and has fond memories of being outside playing “all the time,” especially of playing golf and catch with her father and younger brother. “My dad always told me I could do anything a boy could do,” says the Morgan Stanley branch manager. “He gave me the confidence to do anything I put my mind to.”
From the all-girls private school she attended in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the once timid and quiet Jennifer emerged as “a completely different person, knowing I had a voice, an opinion, and that those opinions should be shared.”
Her parents instilled loyalty and work ethic. “If you commit to something, you see it through,” Jennifers says. They also taught her to be herself and to form her own opinions. “Every conversation was balanced in our household because they wanted us to be free thinkers who are inquisitive.”
After high school, Jennifer enrolled at Drexel University, a mere 15 minutes from her home, in a five-year co-op program. She graduated with not only a bachelor’s in Finance but with resume writing and interviewing skills and three jobs on her resume. During her senior year, she worked in financial service operations, where she remained for five more years and became licensed. She made her way from the “back of the house” to the front when she got a job at Morgan Stanley in Wealth Management, quickly rising from Operations Manager to Senior Complex Risk Officer to Regional Business Service Officer. Today, she’s the Branch Manager of the West Conshohocken Core Branch, where she leads a team of 31 Financial Advisors who collectively have $8.26 billion in assets under management.
In her current role, she asks many questions and gets to know her team members well. The favorite part of her job is “helping people achieve their goals and know we are invested in them,” says Jennifer, who loves having meaningful conversations about their “career adventures—where do they want to go and how we are going to get there.” She enjoys getting to know each person and understanding their passions, seeing a light in them that maybe they hadn’t seen in themselves. “I have a very good eye for talent and can spot something special to cultivate in someone,” she explains.
At the end of the day, Jennifer just 'wants to make the team better,' recognizing that 'we're all here to win.'
It wasn’t until she got to Morgan Stanley that she felt “I really had mentors who saw a light in me that I don't see in myself,” says Jennifer, who is grateful to have been pushed out of her comfort zone to expand her career. Now, she does everything she can to return that favor, freely sharing her ideas and being a mentor to many in her branch with a transparent approach. She provides genuine feedback that comes from the heart to help others rise to their challenges. “When you present honest feedback in a caring way, people listen and work what they need to do to be their best,” she says. “One financial advisor said, ‘I’m coming to you because I know you’ll tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.”
Jennifer, who has worked with support professionals for most of her career, takes it upon herself to advocate for others, because “not everyone knows how to advocate for themselves,” she says. She recommends that those early in their careers get to know upper management and “be courageous” about putting time on their calendars. She also advises them to “listen to the feedback, which is sometimes hard to hear, then find someone to help you work through it.” At the end of the day, Jennifer just “wants to make the team better,” recognizing that “we're all here to win.”
In the rare moment she loses her confidence, Jennifer finds her inner competitor and visualizes the win, seeing herself “completing whatever challenge is in front of me,” she explains. “It's a new start, a new beginning, and I know I'm going to kill it.”
At home, she’s also winning, grateful to have a supportive husband of 16 years and two children, Emma, 14, and Jack, 7, in whom she instills the following: “walk with purpose, have an opinion, and use your voice.” She’s able to be a role model for them because she “has a village” of support that includes her parents, who are “hands-on grandparents” close to home.
She also has the support of her Firm, calling Morgan Stanley “the choice for women, because they invest in us,” Jennifer feels. “From programs for working mothers to career advancement opportunities, we have someone walking next to us. It is a family, and everyone is invested in each other’s success.”
Calling it her “trifecta year,” in 2022 Jennifer had her first hole-in-one, found out she was being promoted to branch manager, then got the call that she had been named a Morgan Stanley MAKER joining a community of advocates, innovators and groundbreakers for women’s advancement, all nominated by their peers. She’s humbled to be among the Firm’s MAKERS Class of 2023, which marks the program’s 10th anniversary.
She sees MAKERs as those who champion others and is proud to be among those who do. “There are so many women out there who need help advocating for themselves,” Jennifer reflects. “Sometimes we don’t see ourselves in that corner office, and we have to help paint that picture.”