Where do you live? New York, NY
What is your profession? Management Consultant full-time at L.E.K. Consulting, retirement and money coach on the side at savemycents.com
How did you get this role and what was your path leading up to this? What goes around comes around! Consulting was my first job out of college — the same firm — and taught me so much of what I know today — research, analytics, presentation. After three years I left to go to business school, thinking I’d learned what I needed to learn and move on.
I had founded my first business prior to business school, it was a wedding photography company. I then developed a penchant for entrepreneurship and e-commerce, and helped a couple of friends with startups during business school. I worked with an e-commerce company in the Bay Area for a year or so, until I got engaged and moved to New York to be with my husband. Arriving in New York, I knew very few people in technology. So I leveraged my consulting background and got a corporate strategy job at Victoria’s Secret.
About a year ago, I realized that I wanted a greater challenge and the ability to manage more people. The opportunity to return to L.E.K. Consulting was open, and now I am a senior consultant in the retail and consumer goods practice.
As for Save My Cents, it was borne out of having learned, alongside with my husband, to live off the lower of our two incomes, ever since we got married. People always asked how we manage to be frugal and yet lead fulfilling lives in an expensive city such as Manhattan, so I started blogging about all the hard work that goes into saving money — there is no magic bullet. Then some people with student debt asked me to help them, so I started coaching. It’s still a very small venture, but I hope to reach and help more people as time goes on.
What did you study in school? I always knew I wanted to be a businesswoman. This was partially driven by not wanting to follow my parents’ footsteps (my Dad is in academia and half of my family is in medicine/healthcare) At my alma mater, Harvard, it made the most sense to study economics to achieve this as there is no formal undergraduate business program. I later went on to get an MBA from University of Chicago.
Has anyone been a mentor to you? What role did they play and how do you feel about mentorship now? My mentors change all the time, I suppose it depends on what I’m looking for and also what I can give back to my mentors
Some of my mentors have been higher-ranking people at work, who recognized my work. Some mentors have been peers who were in industries in which I had very little experience. Some of my mentors have been incredible friends who I happen to cross paths with during networking. All of them have some hand in shaping my professional experience — increasing my skill set, sharpening how I present myself, providing me with opportunities.
I believe in mentorship, both in receiving it and giving it. Anyone who genuinely asks me for mentorship and connects with me, I happily mentor, and I continue to seek opportunities to be mentored myself. I also engage in my community and host many events that I call “salons” at my home to have more in-person face-to-face conversations.
What’s the hardest thing that you’ve had to deal with in your career so far? Not letting myself be defined by my career, but rather, by the values and relationships in my life. I began practicing a work Sabbath every Friday sundown to Saturday sundown 4 years ago. It is 24 hours where I don’t check work emails, don’t do any work, and I let my co-workers, clients, etc., all know. It was really hard at first to have what I perceive fewer work hours than my peers, but I realized it made me more efficient. And, I spend these 24 hours hanging out with my husband, friends, catching up on personal life, it’s great!
What has been a really rewarding moment in your career? There are many moments, hard to name one. Any time I am able to give someone more insight, is a victory to me.
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? Professional: Lead a company or movement that truly changes lives. Personal: Be a mom one day to kid(s) who want to give back to the world!
What’s something you want young women to remember when thinking about their future? Focus on that you can control — how you react to things, how you choose to feel, who you decide to marry, and how much of your paycheck you decide to spend or save each month. Everything else is just life.
What’s one thing you want to try to make an impact on in your lifetime? I want to help more people pay off their debts, spend less than they earn, save for retirement, and be able to give back to those less fortunate.
Where can people find you on social media if they’d like to connect with you?
Insta me at @savemycents
Or on the blog: http://savemycents.com/