Economics in Action: Sarah McCue '09 Works at Morgan Stanley

July 12, 2016

Sarah McCue

We caught up with Sarah about her role as a Wealth Advisory Associate!

What was your major at Simmons?


Where do you work and what's your current job title?

I'm part of The MacKinnon Group at Morgan Stanley in Boston — I'm a Wealth Advisory Associate. I'm also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. 

What's a typical day like at your job?

My day begins around 7:30 a.m. I check the news and my calendar. The rest of the day is mostly spent talking with people, meeting with clients and prospective clients and creating and reviewing financial plans. 

What was the application process like?

I started at Morgan Stanley — which was then called Citi Smith Barney — as an intern during my senior year at Simmons. The people in charge of the hiring process knew me and my work ethic, so when I asked for a full-time position the conversation became “how can we help you find the right role at our company?” 

When I graduated in 2009, finding a job in your preferred industry was difficult. I later learned that out of twenty interns at our office I was the only one who went to the manager and actually asked for a job. This was not for lack of interest. To get what you want you have to ask for it. 

What's your favorite part of your job?

I love working with people and helping them solve their problems. While my colleagues and I closely watch the market and manage people’s money, so much of what we do is managing emotions. When our clients go through big life changes we work with them to find solutions. It's gratifying to see the positive results. 

How did you know your company was a good fit?

Morgan Stanley has tremendous resources. I love that I can speak with an expert on a different financial topic every day. For instance, when we face a complex question about retirement accounts, there's an entire department at the firm dedicated to retirement planning. At Morgan Stanley I'm constantly learning something new and the company supports me in that. This makes good business sense too. The more knowledgeable you are the more valuable you are.

Do you have any tips for job hunting?

Connections are everything. Knowing a person who is currently at the company you're looking at can be very helpful. That person can put in a good word for you with the decision maker. Most professionals I know enjoy speaking with job seekers when they send an email asking to chat. I receive several emails from Simmons students each year and it's a wonderful thing. I did the same thing when I was at Simmons and I'm happy to return the favor.

If you could come back and take one class at Simmons what would it be?

Any class with Professor Niloufer Sohrabji. She makes complex economic concepts approachable and has a contagious enthusiasm for economics. 

How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?

Simmons not only provided the connection to an internship at my current company but guided me throughout my undergraduate years. When I was a sophomore I wanted to study abroad and visited the Simmons study abroad office. The student working there recommended I apply to spend an entire academic year at The London School of Economics (LSE). It was an invaluable experience that exposed me to global ideas. One highlight was taking International Relations 101 at the LSE. I was the only American in my class.

What advice would you give to the current Simmons undergraduate students?

Enjoy your time at Simmons because it goes by quickly. Focus on making strong friendships and make sure to take advantage of internship and mentorship opportunities. These connections will serve you well in the future. Once you enter the workforce, be prepared to work hard. If you want to be successful you have to have a strong worth ethic. What you end up doing right after Simmons most likely will not be your dream job. To get to the dream job you first need to embrace tasks that may sometimes feel beneath you. If you're working with the right people they will recognize your drive and help you progress forward. 

What's your Simmons Moment?

I seem to have a Simmons moment every time I come back to campus for the Simmons Alumnae/i Executive Board meetings. I feel welcomed and inspired by the work the Simmons community is doing. Specifically I was so proud to share my volunteer work recently at Simmons. I had the opportunity to teach a free workshop with Dr. Paula Gutlove on salary negotiation.