Welcome to the second feature of our new series, How I Came to Be a Financial Advisor. Every other month we will highlight one team member in our newsletter who will share their background in, passion for, and future plans in the financial planning profession. There is truly something special that each individual brings to our team, and we can't wait to share it all with you.
This month, get to know Rachel DeCarolis, Partner and Wealth Manager at Northstar.
1. What drew you to the financial planning profession?
Growing up, I actually didn't know what a financial planner was. In school, I had always been strong in math (and secretly loved it though it wasn't "cool" at the time). I also had an interest in psychology and human behavior that began in high school, and that is what I studied in undergrad at the University of Arkansas. My first job out of college was a mental health paraprofessional in a behavioral health center. While the work was very rewarding, I quickly realized it wasn't a long-term path for me. I was also dreaming of living in a different part of the country, so I began filling out applications to graduate school. This led me to apply to the MBA program at Bentley University. It was there that a professor mentioned financial planning might be a good fit for me. Once I began taking FP classes and talking to planners in the area, I quickly realized that I could combine both of my interests - personal and behavioral psychology and the analytics of math - into a career that could also accommodate my desire to start a family.
2. Were there any personal experiences that shaped or motivated you to enter this field?
My mother is a mental health therapist and my father is a retired architect, so the desire to work holistically with a client to improve their wellness while paying close attention to the details and thinking creatively is literally in my genes.
3. What motivates you professionally?
I love being part of a team of strong women who are doing amazing things and modeling balance with their careers and home life. Also, my mother just graduated with her PhD in her 60's so she inspires me to dream big and never give up.
4. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is building the relationship and trust with a client over time. My hope is that they feel comfortable enough with me to have conversations about topics (hopes, fears, dreams) that they may not be having with anyone else in their life. Plus, I love a good tax projection. :)
5. What are you most excited about, looking at the future of your career?
As part of the Women's Initiative through NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), we are reaching out to communities to spread awareness of the financial advisory professional and to develop women as leaders in our industry. I am excited for the next generation to learn that this career path is about relationships and not always the "salesman in a suit" that people traditionally think of