Matthew Sanchez ’12 (finance) has worked in the financial services industry for more than three years, including roles with Charles Schwab and T.D. Ameritrade in Southern California and Indiana. He discusses the industry, his career and his Mihaylo experience.
Alumni of Mihaylo’s finance program work for some of the top names in the industry. In Southern California and across the country, Titans are developing themselves in the banking, investment and securities fields. One such alumnus is Matthew Sanchez ’12 (finance), who is a senior investment consultant with online broker T.D. Ameritrade in Indianapolis, Indiana. He discusses his current position, careers in the investment industry and his experience at Cal State Fullerton.
What would you like students to know about careers in investment consulting?
I am not going to sugar coat it; this is a cut-throat industry and everyone is competing for your clients so you have to be at your best every day. I believe the best aspect of this career is the people you get to meet and the relationships you develop. Although rewarding on many levels, this field is not without its difficulties. Soft skills are critical, as is utilizing and managing a social network. As an investment consultant, I help clients identify concerns they have with their investments, such as their retirement plans, and provide solutions to these challenges.
What was your journey from Mihaylo student to investment consultant?
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to be financial advisor or investment consultant, so I applied to every job I could within a 25-mile radius of my home.
I had a few offers from firms in the industry, but they were not going to put me on the path that I believed was best for me; so I decided to look for jobs across the country. This proved to be the best decision I could have made for my career. I accepted a position at Charles Schwab in Indianapolis, Indiana. I literally didn’t know a single person in the state when I moved here. Schwab trained me and secured my professional licenses while I developed myself as a financial consultant. My willingness to learn and get better every day positioned me for promotions faster than my peers.
While in Indiana, I got married to the woman of my dreams. Eventually, I became an advisor for Charles Schwab back in Southern California at the Newport Beach branch. We decided to move back to Indiana, and because of my professional network, I was able to get my current job within a few short weeks.
What is a typical day in your position?
It would be difficult to define a typical day, but there are three main activities: prospecting, relationship development and meetings. I always try to start the mornings with prospecting, or looking for new clients to bring into my practice. My afternoons are typically spent in meetings and developing relationships with my current clients.
You were involved in the Sigma Phi Epsilon national fraternity while a student at Mihaylo. How has this experience impacted you in your career?
I joined Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) as a freshman. It was one of the best decisions I made in my college career. Like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. This organization encouraged me to be a better leader, athlete, scholar and gentleman. My first professional job, in investment real estate, came from a fellow alumnus.
What advice would you give to current students?
You have to know what you want and be willing to do whatever is necessary to follow your dreams. There are many keys to success, but the foremost is that you have to decide that you want success and will do whatever it takes to be successful. Don’t be afraid to take risks and be willing to work hard.