Featured Alumna: Remy Heskett 2002
Remy Heskett 2002 is working as a financial advisor at Waddell & Reed in Raleigh, NC. After graduating from Asheville School, she went on to North Carolina State University where she initially studied Engineering, and ultimately transferred to Business Management. From NCSU she went to work at Best Buy for six years as a General Manager for Best Buy Mobile SAS, before joining the team at Waddell & Reed.
Heskett said she decided to become a financial advisor while working for Best Buy in 2008.
“Each month there were new stories of job loss, panic, struggle, making ends meet or saving the retirement fund,” she said. “I thought to myself why is there such widespread panic? The answer I came up with was lack of financial education. When the opportunity arose in 2010 to join Waddell & Reed and concentrate on planning, I knew that this was my opportunity to help people become more financially educated.”
Heskett is passionate about financial education, and she has made this the goal of her career.
“Of everything we learn in school, financial education needs to be part of the curriculum,” she said. “It’s especially important at a boarding school where parental influence is limited. It’s more than balancing a check book or making a budget. It’s understanding the value of money, where it goes, how to make it work for you and how to avoid pitfalls of past generations such as over borrowing….I’ve met people that make $30,000 a year, but have such a strong financial foundation that they easily beat their boss that makes $150,000 a year because the boss is so bogged down on debt. My goal is to educate people that no matter the money they make, they can live happily.”
The Wall Street Journal “Voices” blog recently featured Heskett. In the blog, she discussed the budding relationship between social media and financial advising, and suggests that social media does have a place within financial advising, and that “defining rules and regulations should be the responsibility of the regulatory boards, and not places on the shoulders of individual firms.” While networking for business, she says many people, especially those of the younger generations, ask her about her business Facebook or other social networking pages. She writes: “Due to SEC and FINRA regulations, we are restricted on how we can correspond on social networking sites and this can really harm a practice…Financial advising will have to change for the next generation because they are so glued to technology…They Google everything, so if they want to learn about financial education, they Google it. Making sure appropriate, accurate content is out there, easily accessible, and in a format that the “i” generation is familiar with is going to be key to financial education and growth.”
During her time at Asheville School, Heskett describes herself as a bit of a rebel. She says at the time “I did not like the dress code, Saturday classes, or required anything.” But now that she is out in the world, her perspective has changed. “It taught me a lot about the corporate world. It helped me balance conforming to the corporate standard but know when and how to give my personal flare to benefit the company. Sometimes feathers need to be ruffled to grow as a business, but knowing the best professional way to do that stemmed from Asheville School.”
Her advice to current students: “Even if you don’t like the dress code, pay attention because that is the real corporate world. Meeting will always be at times you don’t like, so learn to love them. Work will require you to do things you will hate at times, but focus on all the things you love and you’ll get through those dreadful “required” assignments quickly. Make friends with the really quirky ones in your class. You never know what kinds of knowledge they will give you through your lifetime.”
Heskett lives in Raleigh with her black lab mix named Roxxy and her loving cat, Cheese. She said it was great to see her class again at the past Alumni Weekend, and tries to visit her mother in the area every few months. She has been President of her BNI chapter and currently is the coordinator for her local women’s group, Women’s Power Networking in Raleigh.
Read her Wall Street Journal Blog here.