By Megan Wagner, MH ’16
Fidelity Investments Inc. has hired 12 UD alumni from the Class of 2021 representing a range of majors, from biology and business to philosophy and theology. Their roles for the company vary widely. What makes UD graduates a good fit for Fidelity? We spoke to four recent alumni to learn more.
Jacob Harbour, BA ’21, said, “I studied theology with a concentration in ethics (the financial world needs good ethical standards!). I never imagined myself working at Fidelity, but after hearing about the company through the UD grapevine, I was intrigued. I looked more into the firm, and I realized that it had a very high reputation among both its clients and its employees.”
He added, “Currently, I'm a customer service representative whose main job is taking inbound phone calls in order to help clients with a variety of needs, be it account maintenance, money movement, trades, etc. So far, I've really enjoyed how Fidelity is so committed to being a top performer in terms of customer service in the financial industry. Finance can be stressful to talk about, so we want to be as helpful and accessible to our clients as possible.”
When asked how his UD education prepared him for his role at Fidelity, Harbour replied, “UD taught me to cultivate a love of learning itself. While it has been challenging to learn so much about finance (a subject which I had almost no background in prior to working at Fidelity), I'm so grateful to UD for empowering me to embrace learning in such a new way.” His love of learning has carried him through studying for the exams necessary for his broker license. Although it has been a challenging process, it has also been rewarding.
Meanwhile, Jasmine Adams, BA ’21, spoke of her role as an Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) associate at Fidelity. The ELP is designed for young employees with a background in liberal arts majors. At UD, Adams was a double major in English and business. In the 18-month program, Adams and the other associates complete an orientation and four rotations, giving them exposure to different teams within the company. While several ELP team members are based in Texas, some are in New England, North Carolina, and even Ireland and India.
Adams gained business experience at a young age when she started a small company called Smudgies in high school. She designed a make-up remover product out of swimsuit-like material. While her focus has shifted away from this company, the experience and knowledge she gained were valuable in leading her to double major at UD.
When asked what drew her to Fidelity, Adams said she did not consider it until hearing about her current program, the ELP. She added, “Shannon Blatt [MA ’14, director of the Office of Personal Career Development at UD] reached out and said it would be a good fit and that another UD alum had gone through the program. I learned that Fidelity takes care of employees really well. They invest in people and educational opportunities. As a company, they have the attitude that they can teach hard skills; they need good people who know how to think.”
Adams spoke about how UD prepared her for the ELP: “UD nourished a love of learning and pushed me to ask, ‘Why?’” Classes in her English major taught her to look at context and to examine the bigger picture. She also saw through the UD Core that philosophy, theology and history are all integrated. These ways of thinking have transferred to her current role at Fidelity: She always wants to know how the different rotations fit into the bigger picture, which makes her work more fulfilling. She appreciates the ELP’s emphasis on learning.
Joseph Piescik, BA ’21, a politics major, was initially drawn to Fidelity “because they had some excellent programs for recent graduates to explore the world of finance without having formal financial training. They are a very reputable firm in a very stable industry, and it seemed like a great place to start a career.”
As a Soar Associate, Piescik is in a two-year rotational program for recent college graduates who want exposure to the financial world. He shared, “Soar associates spend time in the Fidelity Charitable, Fidelity Workplace Investing and Fidelity Personal Investing business units. I am almost finished with the first rotation in the Fidelity Charitable business unit, and things are going extremely well. UD's education has prepared me to communicate effectively and to learn quickly and methodically the different facets of the financial industry.”
Kimi Cyr, BA ’21, was a double major in biology and theology who hopes to one day become a physical therapist. She is also in the Soar Program and is currently in the Fidelity Charitable rotation.
Cyr spoke about what first drew her to Fidelity: “What impressed me most about Fidelity was that throughout the interview process, the majority of people I spoke to had been working there for at least five-plus years. There’s a joke that if you have been at Fidelity for less than 15 years, you’re a newbie. I figured there was a good reason people work there for so long. While my long-term plan is not to stay at Fidelity, it is a great place to learn and grow.”
The theology major at UD prepared Cyr for her current role at Fidelity. She explained, “In my studies of theology at UD I was pushed to think of concepts as they relate to a bigger picture and explore them from all angles. Fidelity is a massive company, so being able to see the ‘why’ in the big picture has helped me understand my role a lot faster and better than if I only focus on the ‘what’ of the job.”
Fidelity is a company of over 50,000 employees. While they may not necessarily seek out UD alumni, the fact that they hired 12 alumni from the Class of 2021 is a testament to the quality of the UD education. Each of the recent alumni pointed to how UD instilled in them a love of learning, an ability to make connections and see the bigger picture, and a willingness to ask, “why?” These skills have helped these recent alumni excel in their first year at Fidelity.
“At Fidelity, we believe that building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive workforce, with a range of backgrounds and experiences, is valuable in serving our associates, our customers and our communities,” said Vice President of University Talent Recruiting Eryn Sporl. “At UD, we’ve found students who are motivated, prepared and professional. They have the attitude and transferable skills that can often be difficult to find in an entry-level candidate. These attributes, combined with the desire to learn, makes them a great fit for several of Fidelity’s foundational roles, and we’re excited to have them.”