In her senior year of college, Jenna realized a career in financial services was the perfect path for her. She wanted to help people and believes that her role as a client manager at Freestone allows her to do that.
Jenna appreciates the diverse background of her clients and finds satisfaction in learning about their families, interests, careers, and motivations. As she educates clients about their finances, Jenna finds herself broadening her horizons and forming lasting connections.
Jenna helps people in other ways too. As the wife of a Naval Aviator, she has gotten involved in the Officers Spouses Club which supports the local food bank and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Jenna is also passionate about assisting other military families in achieving their financial goals, whether that is planning for retirement or navigating military benefits. In the future, she would like to provide more pro-bono services to military families and single parents. Jenna cannot imagine ever leaving the industry and looks forward to walking alongside her clients as they align their financial goals with their life goals.
What advice would you give to other women trying to break into the financial services field?
Don’t be afraid to take the chance to move outside of your comfort zone. You may fail, but that is okay. Have the perseverance to continue on and learn from your mistakes. I was comfortable being in the background a lot of the time as I was starting out in my career. But I had a lot of incredible mentors who said, “Jenna, you are good at this. You should go for it.” I learned to lean into my own skills and personality traits that make me who I am. People want to know that they are talking to the genuine you. But the best version of you is continuously improving, adapting, and trying to keep up in our ever-changing investment world.
It is also important to not forget the intangibles. We are a people business – you need to have compassion, empathy, understanding, and perspective. We are also a team business – I wouldn’t be able to have a successful career without the investment team or our operations team.
What’s your overall view of the presence and status of women in the industry?
In my 15 years in the industry, we have made huge strides. But we can always improve. Women have a unique ability to connect with people, an invaluable and necessary skill. We can empathize very well with a lot of challenges other women face which gives us the insight to provide better advice. We can also encourage women to join the industry by mentoring and guiding the next generation.
What challenges do women in the military community face?
Many women have their careers sidelined while their spouse is serving in the military, which often requires moving every few years. Freestone is an example of a company that did not let that happen to me. Not only did they make adjustments to let me work remotely while we moved around the country, but they also have continued to help me move my career forward. I think other private companies can follow Freestone’s lead and increase their hiring of women who are spouses of active duty military or active duty females who have recently separated from service.