RTSWS students at Ravenwood High School learned what a career in finance is like while on their field trip to Jackson National Life Insurance on Oct. 26.
They spoke with several members of the Jackson team, including Chairman Barry L. Stowe and Emilio Pardo: senior vice president, chief marketing and communications officer. Susannah Berry, corporate social responsibility specialist, provided the students with a tour of the offices, located in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tennessee.
Ashley Golson,vice president of the sales desk, discussed her education in communications and her career path. After college, she was offered a position at Jackson and she learned very quickly about annuities and other retirement products. She worked her way to become vice president of the sales desk.
Ashley explained that she had always liked math but not science and that she had thought her only career opportunity involving math would be in engineering. She loves her job and told the students that a career in finance is very achievable and personally rewarding.
“I love Jackson and finance because if you don’t understand how money works, you’re at a disadvantage,” Ashley shared. “Jackson opened my eyes to this.”
Ashley manages internal wholesalers and business development consultants. One of the girls asked Ashley what skills are needed to be successful at Jackson. A continuous learner and good work ethic, she responded, will get you far. Other traits she looks for in employees are great communication skills, an internal drive to reach goals, open to criticism and is very approachable.
Speaking of internal wholesalers, four of them spoke with our girls. Madison Georgi explained the need for a company like Jackson: “People are living longer; how do they pay for it?” Jackson assists financial advisers across the country in finding the best suitable investment products for their clients.
A panel of four internal wholesalers answered questions from the students and talked about their college and career paths to Jackson. They all very much enjoy what they do. Their jobs require them to continuously increase their financial product and tax knowledge, communication skills (with clients and financial advisors), and their public speaking skills.
The last piece of advice the panel offered our students: Bite off more than you can chew and grow from the experience. Whether you rise or fall, you will be wiser and more confident for when the next challenge comes your way. Well said!