March 31, 2022
Tell me about your current role at Yale University?
I am an alumna of Yale College, class of 1989. I studied English literature. My current service at Yale comprises a board seat at YLAN, and active engagement at 1stGenYale and YLNG. As a member of all those groups, I have organized events such as “Somos Latinas” storytelling for the Hispanic Heritage Month. I organized this event to include undergraduate women Latina spoken word poets from Oye, and Latina storytellers from the New Haven community. I worked with Eileen Galvez from La Casa Cultural to create a hybrid in-person/online performance for the Yale and New Haven communities. Additionally, I mentor several 1stGen undergraduates, and I employ two undergraduates as interns in my financial advisory business, Sherwood Financial Group.
What are your main responsibilities?
My mission at Sherwood is to help people take control of their personal finances. I offer a blend of financial coaching and investment advisory to help my clients gain confidence as they learn to make the best financial choices for their lives and for their families.
What do you like most about your work?
I love running my financial advisory! I focus on working with underserved communities; with people who haven’t had the opportunity to work with a financial advisor before. I offer a blend of financial coaching and investment advice. Helping my clients work through some of their ‘issues around money,’ is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. I’ve found that no matter where we come from, we all share certain challenges when it come to managing our finances. My advisory is a place where clients come to learn how to turn that around.
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
As anyone who has ever run their own business knows, it’s difficult to ‘turn work off.’ I am constantly challenged to find a sustainable work/life balance. I work from home, as well as from an office, and juggling two workspaces forces me to be uber-organized and focused. I really enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for myself, and despite the constant feeling that I should be doing more… I wouldn’t change it for anything.
How did you begin your career?
I’ve followed a non-traditional career path. I studied English at Yale, and then went to live in France for many years. I came back to the US, enrolled in a PhD in Comparative Literature at Berkeley. After two years, I decided to pursue an MBA in Finance at Wharton, which led me to London where I worked as a banker. After my last banking job in Dubai, I decided to leave the industry to pursue my first love: writing. I did that for many years before the pandemic hit, and I woke up the day after we went into lockdown and thought, “What can I do to help?” It occurred to me then that I have finance skills, and I could foresee that certain communities were going to get hit very hard, economically. So, I founded the Sherwood Financial Group as my way of addressing economic inequality and contributing to equal opportunity.
What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?
I recommend a solid education in finance, a good understanding of economics, excellent communication skills, marketing skills, and a deep commitment to helping people.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
It helps to have an entrepreneurial spirit, to enjoy working directly with people, to be organized and focused and disciplined. You need to be able to communicate complex concepts simply, and effectively. Mostly, you must enjoy helping people become more confident as they learn and grow.
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
Sometimes I wish that I’d founded Sherwood earlier. Think of how many people I could have helped by now! But the truth is that my long, winding journey got me to where I am today, and has made me into the person I am today. I’m grateful for all of it.
What does YLNG mean to you and how have you contributed as a member of the Steering Committee?
The YLNG was the first Yale group I joined, after 1st GenYale. I love this group! Even though I’m not staff, everyone welcomed me with open arms. And before covid, they used to serve a killer lunch! I feel deeply that this is my ‘home group’ at Yale, and I’ve made friends as well as enjoyed wonderful events surrounded by a wonderful people. YLNG has enriched my life in ways I never imagined. Thank you!