Mediant recently hosted a virtual field trip for the participants of this year’s Rock the Street, Wall Street (RTSWS) program. Since 2018, Mediant has partnered with Panther Creek High School, located in Cary, North Carolina, to improve financial literacy and boost interest in careers in finance among young women.
Mediant’s Head of Operations, Gussie Tate, welcomed the girls and gave an overview of the company. She was joined by Jean Luther, Director of Compliance, and lead RTSWS volunteer.
A video followed of female Mediant employees sharing their experiences working as a woman in financial services including offering their best advice for paving a career in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
1. Ask questions.
“Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand or use your voice. Never think you are the smartest person in the room. There are seven billion people in the world and all of them have something they can teach you, so be a sponge and learn what you can.”
- Hannah Peters, Global Solutions Associate
2. Follow your own dreams.
“I highly, highly recommend listening to what you want to do because from the beginning I think I really wanted to go into finance. I listened to my parents though who thought I should go to dental school and I did all that work just for it to not pan out. I think I would have been further along in a finance career at this point if I had just done what I wanted to from the get-go.”
- Hannah Wolcott, Global Solutions Associate
3. Pursue education.
“I am a big proponent of college even though I wasn’t able to finish myself. I’m also a big proponent of trade schools since I worked for one. I don’t think everyone needs to go to college, but especially in financial services, I think it makes opening those doors easier. But, you can still end up in a job in financial services without it because I’m proof of that.”
- Michele Giffin, Corporate Actions Associate
4. Go out of your comfort zone.
“Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, that is what I would tell my high school self. We have a saying in my home, get comfortable with being uncomfortable―that’s the only way you are going to grow.”
- Lindsey Semptimphelter, Senior Relationship Manager
5. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.
“Life can get really hard sometimes, but it’s always important to look towards the future and think about what you enjoy doing. While you might make mistakes, always try to look for your motivation to keep doing and completing what you’re doing.”
- Julia Freeman, Software Developer
Following the video, we hosted a live Q&A for the students to ask the panelists any additional questions regarding their experiences and advice.
The Mediant–Panther Creek partnership will continue into the spring, with the mentorship part of the program. Students will be paired with female employees for one-on-one mentor sessions. The girls will create resumes and LinkedIn accounts, complete a career assessment, and learn networking and interview skills while completing the final chapter of the program.
For more information about the program, contact Jean Luther.