During intersession, I had the pleasure of shadowing Ms. Cindy Arocho, a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual. Before starting, I had to fill out a culture index survey as well as get fingerprinted. The culture index is a questionnaire that predicts how well you would function in a given workplace, based on your personality. My culture index showed that I value flexibility with my work, as well as having a high affinity for communication with my peers. This combination was well suited for a financial advisor, as they need to be willing to accommodate all their clients’ needs, as well as make sure the clients know what is going on with their money. I had to get fingerprinted because I would be interacting with confidential financial data.
The first day, I met Ms. Arocho and she taught me what a financial advisor does. Basically, advisors are people who manage the money of their clients. The clients set aside small (or larger) amounts of money each month for Ms. Arocho to manage. She allocates these funds into different financial instruments, such as Roth-IRA’s, life insurance and mutual funds. Each of these “buckets” does different things with money. IRAs and mutual funds depend on the stock market. Depending on how risky a client wants to be, the mutual fund will be either bond-heavy (safer) or stock-heavy (riskier).
Another integral part of Ms. Arocho’s job is finding clients. By networking and meeting mutual friends, Ms. Arocho can grow her client base. This is important because more clients mean greater assets under management.
One important thing I learned was that financial advisors help people in the community. Most people have no clue how to save for retirement, and Ms. Arocho was able to give them a detailed timeline describing how much to save and how much the initial seed would grow.
I am very satisfied with my Princeternship experience. I did not really know much about what financial advisors do beforehand, but I learned so much during my few days at Northwestern Mutual. Ms. Arocho was very helpful throughout the entire process, and I am grateful to Princeton for providing me with this opportunity.