University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University
Pursuing degree in Legal Studies
Senior Branch Office Administrator
What did you do before Edward Jones?
Worked for Kinko's — copy machines, finishing, customer service, photo lab.
How does Edward Jones compare to the companies where you previously worked?
You simply can't compare Edward Jones to anywhere else. Over the years, there have been so many improvements to the systems, technology, training and even the basic job description. Every year is better than the last with regard to the BOA role and how we are respected in the firm, region and branch.
What does it take to be a successful branch office administrator at Edward Jones?
Organization, patience, empathy, positive attitude. You have to be able to stay motivated and to prioritize. And, you have to be able to ask for help.
What is it like to work in a two-person office?
It can be challenging because frequently you are working "all alone." The financial advisor may be out making first contacts with prospective clients, or could be meeting with clients all day, or may be shut in the office working on projects or outgoing calls. You have to be able to work effectively on your own and to prioritize. You also have to be able to communicate effectively (written or face to face) with each other – and that doesn't mean just expressing yourself, but also really listening and hearing what the other person is saying.
What kinds of things do you do every day to help the clients?
I review accounts that are regularly sending distributions to clients to make sure cash is available. I prepare appointment folders and gather information (at the financial advisor's direction) so that our retirement forecasts are as accurate as possible. I review beneficiary designations to make sure everything is up to date, and let the financial advisor know if there is something that appears to be missing or needs to be updated. I am a problem solver and a sympathetic ear. I am a source of information or a resource to get the financial advisor in touch with an expert that can assist clients. I am a friendly face when they walk in the door.
What kinds of things do you do every day to help your financial advisor build the business?
I help to create a welcoming and professional atmosphere for anyone who walks in our door or calls on the phone. I contribute to our quarterly business planning meetings with ideas to improve efficiency within the branch, improve the customer experience or add ideal clients to our business. I do everything I can to take tasks off the financial advisor's plate so he can focus on his job: talking to clients about their portfolios and goals, making connections to add ideal clients to our business.
Describe a memorable experience with a client that encapsulates or typifies what it’s like to work for Edward Jones.
I can't think of a specific instance ; however, I will say that many of our clients reach out to us in times of great sorrow (funerals, accidents, loss of job) or great joy (new babies, retirement, new home). What a blessing to come to work and know that we affect people in such a way that they want to share their most important events with us!
What kind of support do you get from the home office?
Home office strives to be a resource for us. They send out frequent updates regarding improvements or changes to processes. Whenever I call for help, they treat me with respect and are eager to get the correct answer to my question. There is never a dumb question when you call the home office!
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