Career Changers

Changing careers doesn’t have to be a daunting proposition. With the support of a quality organization, it can be an easy transition.

Many attorneys, bankers, accountants, educators, and military personnel have two things in common … they enjoy helping people and have transitioned into successful careers as financial representatives with Northwestern Mutual.

 

Hear what career changer Ali Solonche has to say about moving into a career in financial planning

Financial Advisor Ali Solonche made the change from working in private education into financial planning because she was looking for something more.

In Ali's words:
"I wasn’t a traditional hire, if there is such a thing, because my background is in art and education. I worked in a school, volunteered for a local art non-profit and had varied interests. I can only be passionate about my work if I’m helping others and feel like I’m making a difference, and I had never considered that a career in financial planning could provide that for me. However, the more I learned about the role, the more I realized that I could have an impact on individuals, families, and businesses for generations to come. You always hear stories about successful people ending up in a particular career and not remembering how they even got there, so I figured this could be that moment for me.” 

Q: What was happening in your career that made you consider a change?
"I really loved the teaching and the community but I didn’t feel like it was “my calling” or life’s work. I knew that I would continue to be involved with the school in some way, but I thought that my purpose was still out there waiting for me. I felt that the timing was as right as it would ever be to start something new."

Q: Why did you choose a career in financial planning? And why did you choose Northwestern Mutual?
"The advisor role was not something I specifically sought out as I did not have exposure to it. It was through an introduction that I landed at Northwestern Mutual for an interview. It was a classic case of perfect timing and an open mind, that led me to the career. I loved the people I met early on in my office and I loved everything I learned about the company’s history and mission to do the right thing. Having an impact on the community and helping others are core values of mine, so finding a career that would allow me to do that every day, while having autonomy and control over my day, was a dream combination."

Q: What experiences from your former roles helped you find success with Northwestern Mutual?
"I think coming from a very different background has proven to be quite valuable in this career because I am able to relate to financial planning being intimidating. I’ve always been in a position of trust that required a certain sensitivity- I think this has translated directly to my work with my clients. I love that I can be that person in my clients’ lives that knows their vision, hopes and fears- that gets to share in their successes and helps them during trying times, to ultimately get them to where they want to be."


 

Hear what career changer Michael Mpitsos has to say about moving into a career in financial planning

Financial Advisor Michael Mpitsos made the change from working in education into financial planning because he was looking for something different.

In Mike's Words:

“I didn’t realize how much teaching and financial planning would have in common. Education is definitely an impact industry; people teach because they want to make a difference in the lives of their students. Finance, generally, brings with it different connotations: cold, corporate, etc. However, financial planning is anything but cold and corporate. It is all about building long-term relationships and helping your clients by having a direct, positive impact in their lives.”

Q: What was happening in your career that made you consider a change?
"I was considering a career change because the culture of my former job was a bit insidious. I was referred to Northwestern Mutual by a friend of mine and was sold on the career after the first interview. Everyone I spoke with loved the job, and the workplace environment was phenomenal."

Q: Why did you choose a career in financial planning? And why did you choose Northwestern Mutual?
"Honestly, I got lucky and was referred in to Northwestern Mutual. I would never have considered financial planning otherwise. The positive workplace environment was the primary appeal to me. The advisors I met on my interview had been in the career and still loved and were challenged by the career. The past five years have reaffirmed my decision. The leadership at the Northwestern Mutual (Baltimore) is excellent. They have helped me – someone with no previous financial experience – build a business that I am proud of and that allows me to help clients every day."

Q: What experiences from your former roles helped you find success with Northwestern Mutual?
"Working with my clients, I often draw from my experiences in education and athletics. As a teacher, I learned to explain unfamiliar – often difficult – concepts to my students, a skill that I use when describing a complex financial plan to my clients. As a coach, I helped my athletes define, work towards and accomplish ambitious goals. All of these are combined into what I do daily for my clients."


For more information about a career with Northwestern Mutual, please contact Nick Ruocco, our Director of Recruiting & Development at nick.ruocco@nm.com.

 
 Nicholas John Ruocco

Nicholas John Ruocco

Director of Recruitment and Development
nick.ruocco@nm.com
Office 410-539-0084

Nick joined Northwestern Mutual in 2006. He is passionate about helping people develop their careers with NM.

 
 Mary Clare Coghlan

Mary Clare Coghlan

Recruiter
maryclare.coghlan@nm.com
Office 410-539-0084

My Networks: LinkedIn

Mary Clare joined Northwestern Mutual as a recruiter in 2014. She enjoys meeting people and sharing the unique career opportunity that NM provides.

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