The Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Jar­reau Free­man

Edi­tor’s Note: This is the third ar­ti­cle in a se­ries of sWoULHs SUofilLng loFDl IH­male pro­fes­sion­als.

Ham sar” is a Per­sian say­ing that means “equal­ity.” Grow­ing up out­side of La­guna Beach, Calif., Hunt­ing­don Val­ley res­i­dent Samira Ghas­semi said she wit­nessed equal­ity in her home through her par­ents’ ex­am­ple.

“The bur­den should not just be held by the women,” she said. “If you want to suc­ceed, you want to rely on your ‘ham sar,’ the per­son who is on the same level as you. It should never be where one per­son is car­ry­ing more weight than the other.”

Im­mi­grants from Iran, Ghas­semi’s fa­ther op­er­ated a fu­el­ing sta­tion and auto re­pair shop, while her mother cared for the fam­ily, pur­sued a de­gree in child psy­chol­ogy and worked a part-time job. She ob­served her par­ents work as a team. Her fa­ther took on the chores like gar­den­ing and wash­ing the win­dows, and at times wash­ing the dishes, when her mother was tired.

Cur­rently en­gaged, GhasVHPL VDLG VKH DnG KHU fiDnFé have dis­cussed work, par­ent­hood and how they will man­age life to­gether.

“0y fiDnFé LV UHDOOy VuS­portive,” she said. “No mat­ter what kind of ca­reer you have, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is es­sen­tial in your re­la­tion­ships.”

In ad­di­tion to form­ing a fiUP SDUWnHUVKLS wLWK KHU spouse, Ghas­semi also learned the value of dis­ci­pline, the im­por­tance of fos­ter­ing a strong work ethic, in­tegrity and the value of an ed­u­ca­tion from her par­ents. Ghas­semi was the fiUVW SHUVRn Ln KHU IDPLOy WR go col­lege. She at­tended the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, where she grad­u­ated in 2008 with a de­gree in economics.

“I could have been a ballet dancer, and my par­ents would have been sup­port­ive,” she said. “As long as I did some­thing that I loved to do, that’s all they wanted.”

At 27 years old, Ghas­semi LV Ln D fiHOG WKDW VKH nRW RnOy en­joys, but she’s also pasVLRnDWH DERuW. 6KH LV D finDn­cial ad­viser for Wells Fargo Ad­vi­sors LLC, in Jenk­in­town, a po­si­tion she se­cured in Jan­uary af­ter mov­ing from Cal­i­for­nia to Penn­sylvDnLD wLWK KHU fiDnFé.

She pre­vi­ously worked as a pre­mier banker for the com­pany and said she felt some trep­i­da­tion en­ter­ing a new po­si­tion typ­i­cally dom­i­nated by men. Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of La­bor and Statis­tics, there were an es­ti­mated 369,800 SHUVRnDO finDnFLDO ad­vi­sors em­ployed in the United States in 2010, and 30.8 per­cent of them were women.

How­ever, some of the chal­lenges Ghas­semi said VKH KDV IDFHG Ln WKH fiHOG had noth­ing to do with be­ing fe­male, but with the fact that she is a young pro­fes­sional.

In 2012 re­ported that 5 per­cent of the 316,000 finDnFLDO DGvLVHUV ex­ist­ing in the U.S. at the time were un­der the age of 30.

“:KHn , fiUVW VWDUWHG [WKH man­agers] made me aware that some peo­ple may not feel com­fort­able shar­ing their life story and their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and finDnFHV wLWK VRPHRnH, Ln their eyes, who may not have enough life ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

Work­ing to es­tab­lish her cred­i­bil­ity has been dif­fiFuOW, EuW VKH KDV SuW KHU faith in her strength as an or­ga­nizer and her friendly de­meanor to gain trust from her clients. Th­ese are skills she said she learned from ob­serv­ing her fa­ther’s in­ter­ac­tion with cus­tomers at his auto shop.

“When I am able to give [Py FOLHnWV VRunG@ IHHGback to ad­dress their con­cerns, it val­i­dates my pro­fes­sion and po­si­tion,” she said. “I am very per­son­able, which is some­thing that has set me apart from my peers. A banker is some­one you need and rely on … you want to be able to trust them and don’t want to feel like an­other trans­ac­tion.”

Ghas­semi de­scribes herVHOI DV D “finDnFLDO GRF­tor” be­cause she is help­ing SHRSOH UHSDLU WKHLU finDnFLDO sit­u­a­tions to se­cure their fu­tures. This, she says, makes her a leader in her in­dus­try.

“I am hold­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods in my hands — whether it’s help­ing a col­lege stu­dent bud­get loan pay­ments and a salary, or help­ing a fam­ily re­duce their mort­gage in­ter­est rates so they can save money to send their chil­dren to col­lege,” she said. “Re­gard­less of what it is, they know they can count on me.”

In ad­di­tion to build­ing a ca­reer at Wells Fargo, Ghas­semi said she wants to help stu­dents, as young as high school, be­come reVSRnVLEOH IRU WKHLU finDnFHV. She dreams of set­ting up a men­tor­ship pro­gram in lo­cal schools and gath­er­ing a JURuS RI finDnFLDO DGvLVRUV to con­duct dif­fer­ent work­shops to pro­vide stu­dents with the tools to make good fiVFDO GHFLVLRnV Ln WKH IuWuUH.

As Ghas­semi moves for­ward in her ca­reer and in her life, one piece of ad­vice she said she will she al­ways take with her is to stay pos­i­tive and en­joy her pro­fes­sional ac­com­plish­ments.

“I think it’s im­por­tant to sit back and ap­pre­ci­ate all you have done,” she said. “That will fuel you to keep go­ing.”

Lo­cal fi­nan­cial ad­viser

talks equal­ity

Mont­gomery Me­dia photo / JOSHUA OTTEY

Hunt­ing­ton Val­ley res­i­dent Samira Ghas­semi works as a fi­nan­cial ad­viser at Wells Fargo Ad­vi­sors LLC in Jenk­in­town.

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