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It’s your first day of work. You walked into a room and you’re the only woman. Lonely, isn’t it?

Recently, I accepted an internship at Northwestern Mutual – a financial planning company. Stereotypically, finance is a male-dominated industry. Although expanding, it is still a small ratio of women in comparison to men. 

At this internship, not only am I one of two women, but I am also the youngest one there. I’m a 20-year-old sophomore, while everyone is nearly graduating. I remember feeling unqualified even though we all took the same steps to get there. I may have taken longer than them because it was my first business experience, I know that, but I still had a problem with comparing myself to my coworkers. It feels like I have to constantly play catch-up. It’s exhausting, but I wasn’t willing to give up that easy just because it is hard. 

Logging into that zoom room and walking into the office, I felt slightly petrified. Walking into a room full of men who are confident and make themselves known in the room, I feel like I have to minimize myself. Naturally, I am like that anyway with any new group of people, but holy cow, it’s overwhelming. 

[bf_image id="kxvvrvrqb4pfrks69rptr6b"] Fast forward two months: I’m making myself known. I’m leveraging the fact that I am the youngest and a woman. A shifting mindset is important. Instead of being absolutely petrified (I still am a little bit, but that’s fine) I am leveraging the fact that I started out this young and got the same opportunity as the older kids.

Being a woman in finance is fun because we add spice to the office. Everyone remembers you if you’re the loud one that doesn’t stop talking and giving opinions. A lot of us women are opinionated; use it and you’ll be surprised by the men’s reaction when things are being said that they would never think about. It’s funny.

So go out there, break stereotypes and prove everyone wrong!

Message me on LinkedIn if you or anyone you know could use some financial therapy! 

 

Tracy Huynh

CU Boulder '23

Tracy is a sophomore at the Leeds School of Business. In her free time, she enjoys binge-watching Netflix and going shopping. If she is not studying, she can be found with a fuzzy blanket and fuzzy socks in bed or in the home decor section of any store daydreaming.
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