As the wealthtech space continues to grow, there are new and exciting career opportunities for future generations to explore. Our Head of Product Development, Jess Wooke, recently sat down with students of New Jersey’s Marlboro High School (virtually) to share her experience and how to pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Here are some key takeaways from Jess’ presentation:
Shannon: If there’s one thing we learned, it’s that you did not just roll out of bed one day and wake up to a career in wealthtech. How did you get started?
Jess: Before I even entered the workforce, I faced a difficult, but not uncommon, obstacle. I started as a computer science major at Drexel University and quickly realized I did not enjoy the detail-oriented nature of coding. I would spend hours staring at a code only to realize I forgot a semicolon! After a lot of research and discussions with my advisor, I began studying management information systems and services – which still involved coding but to a much lesser degree. What I learned during that time was that no one has a clear path toward the perfect future. However, with a resilient mindset and problem-solving abilities, you are capable of navigating any challenges that come your way.
Shannon: In addition to honing your amazing problem-solving skills, what helped prepare you for the workforce?
Jess: To become the professional you aspire to be, you need to set yourself up for success as early as possible. If you’re in high school, that could mean playing sports, volunteering or working part-time jobs to gain leadership and teamwork experience.
In college, the hands-on experience of a co-op, or paid internship, helped me apply the information I learned in the classroom to the real world. On top of that, it gave me the chance to network with professionals in the industry and ultimately helped me land my first job. One of the biggest tips I can share is to find a mentor – an expert in the field, an advisor at college or an experienced friend. Whoever it may be, having a mentor to guide you when you aren’t sure what step to take next is imperative. So much so that I do whatever I can to be a mentor to others pursuing a career in wealthtech.
Shannon: You note that career development is all about trial and error, and it’s important to get as much experience as possible. What did your career path look like?
Jess: I gained loads of experience in previous positions that led me to the leadership role I am in today. To start, I was a network engineer at a telecommunications company where I learned about software development and project management. While I enjoyed my time there, I knew it wouldn’t be my forever ‘home.’
In my current position, I lead a team of passionate product managers, business analysts and UI/UX designers. Together, we analyze how customers are interacting with the software we build at RobustWealth, how to make the interactions better and what our competitors are doing. Most importantly, we communicate with each other to foster an ecosystem of smooth product development. Those teamwork and communication skills are something I learned along the way, and practiced throughout my experiences in high school, college and my career.
Shannon: Thank you for sharing your story with us today, Jess. From all of us at RobustWealth, we appreciate your dedication to shaping the next generation of wealthtech leaders.
If you’re interested in learning more about our internship program, take a look at this recap from our 2020 class and stay tuned for more on our 2021 opportunities.
RobustWealth is a fully integrated, digital advice platform for advisors and institutions. The private label platform offers a variety of sophisticated investment solutions that streamline back-office inefficiencies and help financial professionals focus on building strong, long-lasting relationships with their clients.
Founded in 2015 by financial industry veterans, RobustWealth was designed with the advisor in mind. The firm is headquartered in Lambertville, New Jersey with remote employees located across the world.