Danelis grew up in Sacramento and is a recent MBA graduate from Mills College. At Mills, Danelis emphasized her studies in finance and developed a passion for it. Claudia Rivas, Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, was her mentor during the mentorship program. With the help of Claudia, she secured a Financial Advisor position at Merrill Lynch and is one of our Latinos in Finance Boot Camp success stories!
Q: Tell us about yourself! How did you first develop an interest in finance?
My parents immigrated from Cuba a week before I was born, leaving everything behind. I was born in Miami and moved to Sacramento when I was eight years old, as my Dad sought better career opportunities. I watched my parents start from nothing and persistently build, through a solid work ethic, the financial stability they can enjoy today. Witnessing their journey was extremely impactful for me. It gave me insight into the power that financial resources have to change peoples' lives for the better, which is why I’m a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch. A solid financial standing gives you unmeasurable options and opportunities. Looking forward, I want to help my clients expand their net of opportunities by helping them meet their financial goals in a timely fashion, all while providing a personalized client service.
Q: How did you first find out about LIF?
I had never heard about LIF before I saw an email in my inbox about LIF's upcoming Bootcamp. I had just started my MBA program, and as I’m always seeking opportunities for growth and networking, I attended - BEST decision of my life. It was such a thrilling experience to be sitting in a room surrounded by motivated, curious, and deeply passionate individuals, ready to succeed in their careers. While at the event, I connected with top professionals in the field and made life-long friends that keep me motivated and informed about new opportunities. I also met my mentor, Claudia Rivas, whom engrained me further in the network and pushed me in my career. LIF has done so much for me in such a short amount of time, that I am extremely excited about the opportunity to pay it forward.
Q: Please tell us about your personal goals within Latinas in Finance. What is your greatest wish that you would like to see accomplished this year?
Having gone to Mills College, an all-women university, I am passionate about promoting the advancement of women in the workforce. I would like Latinas in Finance to continue evolving into a dynamic network of high-achieving women that come together to share knowledge about new developments in the field and career growth opportunities. I hope to accomplish this through a series of informational events, such as the upcoming “Unpacking the MBA: The Value of an MBA for Women”. We will have a panel address the main inquiries women have about balancing their life responsibilities while obtaining their MBA.
Q: What types of events can we expect within the next year?
We are excited to announce our next event, “Unpacking the MBA: The Value of an MBA for Women”, which will take place early this fall! We will host a panel that will talk about their diverse MBA experiences and give testimonials on how it’s propelled their careers. Our panelists’ educational backgrounds range from Harvard, to Mills College, to NYU, to Stanford. Throughout the year, we will continue to provide enriching, content-driven events that add value for our members.
Q: Any other advice for people looking to get involved?
Latinos in Finance fosters a welcoming environment, with various degrees of involvement within the organization. The branch of Latinas in Finance has a lot of room to grow, and we encourage new ideas and active engagement. At the core, our goal is to help develop the personal and professional advancement of our members on an individual basis, as we’ve seen with the success of our mentorship program.
Q: What impact has the mentorship program had on your career?
Through the program, I was able to meet Claudia Rivas, my mentor and great friend. She happened to have completed the 4+1 MBA program at Mills College, as well. While I was in the program, she made me aware of the many possibilities within the financial industry and guided me in choosing the right one for me. She held me accountable, pushed me, boosted my confidence, and encouraged me with her positive mindset. The result was landing my first job out of college at Merrill Lynch, working towards developing my career as a financial advisor.