Responsibility: I manage a team of professionals who are responsible for client services, including financial planning and investment management, and other services required by clients. Three features distinguish Lassus Wherley from many other wealth management firms: personal service, objective advice and leading-edge technology.
How did your management major prepare you for your professional career?
It prepared me for many different types of careers because of the focus on working with and through people. Everything we do is about managing processes and people. The FSU program provided a framework by offering a broad range of coursework. I learned so much in the organizational behavior courses that I still use today in working with people, whether they are peers, employees or clients. The problem-solving approach that was taught with the use of case analysis was such a great tool for learning how to go through mounds of data and get to the real problem in order to come up with possible solutions. This is a critical skill that has continued to help me in my career.
What advice would you give to someone about to graduate with a degree in management?
Don’t limit yourself in terms of options when you are doing a job search. There are so many opportunities in so many different professions and industries where you can apply the knowledge and the skills you have acquired. Be open to positions that may be outside of what you were originally thinking would be a good fit.
What advice would you give management majors?
Take courses you think are outside your areas of focus or interest. I can’t think of one course I have taken over the years that didn’t broaden my thinking and help me become better at everything I take on. Take advantage of internships. They are an amazing way of learning more about the different careers that are out there.
Are there any classes you would recommend to students?
Focus on areas you have the least knowledge and continue to expand your thinking. There are two areas I would take courses in today that weren’t available when I was an undergraduate. The first is data analytics, which is a really interesting growth area, and the second is entrepreneurship, which is one of my favorite topics.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
There are several that mean a lot to me, with the first being the recipient of the Robert J. Underwood Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in 2010, and the second would be my appointment to the Inaugural Commission on Standards, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, in 2016.
What skills helped get you hired initially?
Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, were key for me in my early employment years. I believe these skills are still critical, and we need to spend time developing and fine-tuning them during our careers.
What insight can you offer people interested in working at your firm?
We are looking for people who want to focus on problem-solving and working with teams and clients to help develop financial plans, implement the plans and help clients reach their long-term objectives. This means having a commitment to continue developing skills and learning during their career.
What is one of your favorite memories at FSU?
I spent most of my time working or studying, so my memories are filled with different professors and classes. One of my favorite classes was taught by the late Dr. Bill Anthony (management) and it was one of the early corporate social responsibility classes offered. He taught from a book he co-authored, and I later used the book to teach a course at the University of New Orleans. It definitely had an impact on the way I viewed the business world.
My most recent favorite memories are of FSU Women’s Basketball games. Head Coach Sue Semrau is my hero!