A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that while there are increasingly more job opportunities within the financial services industry, many of those openings remain unfilled, indicating a low rate of hire. After the Great Recession, Los Angeles was among one of the five largest financial sector markets in the nation to see a moderate decline in employment over the past five years. Now, as the economy continues to recover, jobs in the industry are showing stubborn signs of growth.

As a tech-savvy marketing professional in financial services, USC graduate Andy Tien has recently found himself climbing up the ladder to success as he transitions into his new senior management role after being a marketing manager for several years at a different company. With a bachelor of arts in entrepreneurship and an MBA in strategic marketing and analytics, Tien says his pursuit of higher education helped pave the way to senior management and contributed to his ever-expanding network of friends and associates.

Financial Services Marketing Professional Andy Tien (photo courtesy of Andy Tien)

Financial Services Marketing Professional Andy Tien (photo courtesy of Andy Tien)

Prepare for senior management with education  

Tien’s education helped accelerate his career path and enhanced his credibility in and out of the board room. It pushed him beyond his comfort zone by getting cold called in class, taking difficult number-crunching courses and attending numerous networking events full of strangers. He learned how to quickly adapt to rapidly changing environments, think on his feet and make due with limited resources under strict time constraints while keeping the entire organization in mind. “You have to think about how your decision affects others and see the big picture on a global scale,” he says.

One educational course that made a big difference

One course Tien remembers as a class well worth taking was an organizational behavior course for personal development. He learned that leaders aren’t necessarily born; they’re created. Despite his introversion, there were many opportunities for Tien to take on leadership roles that used to make him uncomfortable before. “During my MBA, I got involved in a lot of school clubs and stayed involved for a while after the program as a board member of various alumni associations,” he recounts.

Tips for professionals climbing the ladder of success

“Network like crazy, identify your passions and find a mentor,” Tien advises. Success is something you have to work at and be patient enough to stay on course. To see the kind of success Tien did, he recommends always being prepared by constantly evolving and educating yourself on the latest trends related to your role. You never know when opportunity will come knocking on your door. “Had I not obtained an MBA and evolved my skills and experiences, I may not have been as prepared to take on this new responsibility as quickly,” he says.

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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