Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2022

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2022

Vice President, CFO of Wealth Management Solutions

ASIAN

LEADERS Worth Watching

TM

INTERNATIONAL

It’s Been a Fulfilling Journey So Far While I was growing up, my parents were like many Asian parents in that they strongly urged me to become either an engineer or a doctor. As a result, I did not give much thought to other career possibilities. However, while volunteering at a hospital during my high school years, I quickly discovered that I am extremely squeamish around blood and needles. So,

Education: Bachelor of Science, chemical engineering, Rice University; Master of Business Administration, finance and economics, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business Company Name: New York Life Industry: Insurance Company CEO: Craig DeSanto Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 11,000 Words you live by: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? Get it Done by Ayelet Fishbach What was your first job: Engineer Favorite charity: Financial Women’s Association Interests: Travel, hiking, and food Family: Husband and son (9)

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my fate was determined—I took the engineering path. I enjoyed working as an engineer immensely, but I also discovered that there was so much more to know about how the business world functions. So, it was not long before I decided to go back to school for more formal training in finance and economics. As someone who didn’t grow up contemplating infinite career possibilities, business school was an eye-opening experience. It was almost overwhelming, but I found the camaraderie of my classmates and support from the school very helpful in navigating the opportunities. In the years since, I have had several career changes that have given me exposure to different industries and corporate cultures. I also had the opportunity to try my hand at different roles. And, along the way, I have met many people and am grateful for all the colleagues who became friends and the managers who became mentors. My career path has certainly not been a straight climb, but it has been a fulfilling journey, thus far. While I have been navigating my own career path, I have been excited to see in-roads broadened for Asian Americans in all fields—from business and politics to entertainment and sports. These past few decades, I have seen barriers topple, and bamboo and glass ceilings broken through. And it has been inspiring! We have all heard that many of the jobs of the future have not even been invented yet. So, for the next generation, I hope the world of opportunities feels open and welcoming, as they chart their paths forward. The pandemic has taught this up-and-coming generation how to be agile. Combined with their love of learning and desire to make a positive impact, the future looks bright. With mentoring and guidance from the leaders of today, our next generation of leaders should be well equipped to navigate the challenges of tomorrow.

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Helen Wei