Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
I am a proud Ellevate member and Harvard Graduate. I am on an all-female team, and I’m currently focused on generating a greater positive impact in the world both personally and professionally. My two main impact projects are promoting diversity and inclusion and combatting climate change. I am a member of Nexus Global, Harvard in Impact, WINGs WorldQuest, and several other impact-related organizations.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
My favorite Ellevate Network memory was sponsoring and helping to organize an event for another Ellevate member and business owner. One of my partners was able to present on the panel, and she spoke about her own life experiences and how she was able to change corporate culture from within, having worked there for over 35 years. It was incredible to hear her story inspiring so many women in the audience, and it was amazing to hear the stories of each of the other panelists as well.
I am an Ellevate member because I want to connect with as many changemaking women as possible. I want to be able to grow both personally and professionally, and I want to continue to help other women grow as well.
What are some career challenges on your radar?
I started out as a biologist, having briefly worked in five different research labs across the country. I was fairly certain I did not want to become a doctor, so my degree pushed me deep into the research world, which I thought was incredibly interesting. I mean, I still think it’s fascinating… I was focusing on stem cell research, and that branch of biology is just so spectacular.
However, in my last lab, I had a really terrible experience - I was asked to take on a project that ended up being completely fabricated, and I was constantly surrounded by crying post-docs and PhD candidates, so I left. That really turned me off from the research world in general, but I still have a great passion for biology.
Since I had a minor in computer science, I went on to become a quantitative analyst at a small hedge fund, where I worked on investment strategies and predictive modeling in energy derivatives markets. Again, a very interesting topic, and I surrounded by some really intelligent people, but it still wasn’t quite the right fit for me.
After all of these experiences, what I realized was that it really didn’t matter to me what I was working on, as long as it was (1) intellectually stimulating in some way (2) a growth opportunity and (3) a team that I enjoyed spending time with. In my current role, I love my teammates, the opportunity for growth is unlimited, and the subject is constantly intellectually engaging.
Who are your role models?
I admire so many people in my life for many different reasons, it’s really difficult to pick one or two “perfect” people. I admire my much younger sister for her courage and resilience, my mother for her endless supply of love, my brother for his relaxed attitude, my significant other for his brilliant mind and excellent advice, and my two business partners for their wisdom and strength.
What is your morning ritual?
A quick shower and a cup of hot tea. The shower is one of the few things that will never fail to wake me up, and the tea helps me relax and meet the day with a calm and collected mind.
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
I am a millennial, but I never really loved social media, haha! I’ve recently enjoyed LinkedIn a lot, because it’s an easy way to stay connected with many of the amazing women I’ve met through Ellevate.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
It’s my greatest strength and greatest weakness - I am so type A to a fault. I almost constantly feel the need to be productive, even when I’m relaxing! I work very hard, and I am always making sure things are working properly and efficiently.
What does success look like to you?
So many things! I already love what I am doing, which is a must. I also want to have a larger positive impact in my personal and professional life. Finally, I’d love to get to a point in my career financially/professionally where I can (1) take care of my parents and (2) go on a long vacation and not worry about being away.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Oh of course, especially during the quarantine! My no-fail tactic is putting away my work computer and corporate phone. I refuse to check my emails over the weekend and after a certain time in the evening. This allows me to at least de-stress and disconnect from work during the week while I eat dinner and before going to bed.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Ever! These are high stakes… hmm… I’d say don’t be afraid to change jobs/sectors. I’ve done it many times, and with every change I’ve found a happier place to be.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Elisabeth is a Harvard graduate who joined Merrill as a financial advisor after three years of working as an analyst at a hedge fund. She is a partner at the Sternlieb Novick Group, an all-female team of financial advisors, where she focuses on impact investing - a form of investing that can deliver market-rate returns while also creating a social and community benefit. Her focus is on developing tailored strategies for a select group of... Continue Reading
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