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