Here at Her Campus Bryant, we love highlighting strong women and all of their achievements. The women of Bryant University are no exception. Not only are they smart, but they are organized, future-oriented and have set themselves up for success. Since the business field is, in general, saturated with men, we wanted to take the opportunity to feature women who are going into some of the most male-dominated fields.
The first article in this series puts a spotlight on HC Bryant’s very own Editor-in-Chief, Kim Flynn, a senior with a double concentration in Financial Services and Spanish.
Her Campus: How did you first get involved in finance?
Kim Flynn: I originally started at Bryant undeclared. In the fall of my sophomore year, I took Financial Management and was given the opportunity for extra credit by attending a Finance Association meeting. At the meeting, a financial planner spoke about his experience in the industry and I was immediately intrigued by the profession. I did my own research that night and then reached out to my professor, Professor Mara Derderian, to learn more about the Certified Financial Planner Program at Bryant. A few weeks later at the Degree Exploration Fair, I officially declared my concentration as Financial Services and I never looked back!
HC: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?
KF: After graduation, I will be working at Talcott Financial Group in Glastonbury, Connecticut. I interned with this company during the summer of 2018. It was a great experience that immensely prepared me for my career. I am starting in June as an Associate Advisor and will be studying for my Series 7, 66, insurance, and CFP® exams.
HC: Have you faced any challenges as a woman in the finance field? How have you overcome them?
KF: In my finance classes at Bryant, there are usually not many women. My current finance class has 35 students, 6 of those are women. When I begin working, I will be the only female among 2 other male advisors. It can be intimating to be a female in a male-dominated field, but I have learned to speak up for myself and not let the fact that I am a minority in the field get in the way of my potential. I personally have come to realize that being a female in the finance field is an advantage rather than a disadvantage because women are typically more in sync with their and others' emotions. I can provide emotional support to my clients in ways that males cannot. Many finance companies are looking for qualified females because the industry is saturated with males.
HC: What opportunities has Bryant given you to support you as a woman in finance?
KF: Professor Derderian has been a mentor to me since I became interested in the field. She is the director of the CFP® Track Program at Bryant, an amazing professor, and has previous experience working in the corporate world. She has hosted many events at Bryant to promote Financial Services which allowed me to meet many professionals in the industry, including the advisor that originally made me interested in this career. Professor Derderian has demonstrated to me how women can be successful in the finance industry.
HC: Why do you think more women should get involved in finance? What advice would you give them?
KF: I think more women should get involved in finance because there is a large lack of women. Often times, because of the natural biology of women, we are more empathetic, better listeners, and pay closer attention to detail than men. These are all important traits to have in the industry.
When working in a team, it is important to make decisions considering many different factors and applying different ways of thinking to come to a conclusion. If there is a team of all men, they may not think of a factor that a woman would mention. Additionally, diversification is an important part of a financial portfolio, so it is important that the professionals in the industry are diversified as well.
To all women who want to become involved with finance, I encourage you to reach out to other women in the industry. There are frequent finance events on campus, even ones that are targeted towards women. They have been very helpful to me so go to as many as you can! Whether it is in a group project or in your future career, do not let any man belittle your opinion just because you are a woman!
HC: Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
KF: I can say all 50 states in under 20 seconds!
Kim is setting such a great example for all the girls looking to go into the finance field – intelligent, hard-working and outspoken. Kim was lucky to find such a great mentor at Bryant University that allowed her to grow as a young professional. We love her advice for other women looking to go into the finance field – don’t be afraid to be a leader, speak your mind, and value your opinions.