Aileen Hickey just celebrated her 10th anniversary at Capital Group. If you ask her what encouraged her to stay at one company for such a large chunk of her career, while many people her age are known for job hopping, she has a simple answer: the collaboration and sense of human connection.
At Capital Group, Hickey feels constantly surrounded by people who share her values, which makes it easy to speak her mind and pursue her interests. She has felt supported not only when she’s building her resume and achieving her lofty goals, but also when she’s having a tough day at work or feeling vulnerable.
How’d she find an employer so driven by its values — and what’s her advice for finding a role and community that makes you feel heard? Hickey shared what drew her to Capital Group and the tell-tale signs that it invests in its associates. She also shared the opportunities that she’s pursued and how she’s tackling one of her remaining professional fears by pursuing it.
What about this company stood out to you and made you want to join? What’s been your favorite aspect since joining?
I first heard about Capital Group from a friend who had just started as a Client Services Associate. I heard the training for new associates was extensive and included education about mutual funds in general, so previous experience wasn’t required. This was a big plus to me because I really didn’t know much about mutual funds before being hired. The rigorous training was what drew me to the company. To me, it meant two things: (1) Capital Group wanted their associates to thrive and to have the knowledge that was necessary to help shareholders and advisors and (2) Capital Group wanted their shareholders and brokers to have the best support possible.
Tell me about the roles you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
I first started as a Client Services Representative in our Irvine, CA office. While in this role, I expressed interest to my manager in exploring different areas of the department and was able to join a team that created processing forms and letters to support Client Services functions. This was exciting to me because prior to joining Capital Group, I had been working at a non-profit home building association and was an associate editor for their member publication. My manager at the time was very supportive in associate growth, so when I saw that there was a position in our Los Angeles office in the compliance department for a prospectus production role, I jumped at the chance to apply. I happily accepted the position after a few rounds of interviews.
Seven years later, I am with the same team and was promoted to a Prospectus Production Specialist earlier this year. In my role, I have had the opportunity to not only work on our prospectuses and SEC filings, but I also help manage state registration requirements for our mutual funds.
What makes Capital Group special to me is that associates are always willing to not only provide the information that is required, but also take the time to teach one another the “whys” behind it. It’s a great feeling to know that what I’m working on day-to-day is something that requires a company-wide effort across so many different departments. It’s the collaboration, thought and care that goes into everything that we do that truly makes this job so rewarding.
In addition, the Legal & Compliance department has been highlighting the efforts of associates, have been transparent with career opportunities within the department and have been responsive to associate feedback. This effort from management makes me feel seen and heard, which is something that I consider to be of high value.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping?
I believe that opportunities are available in all areas of life — including work – when you set goal(s) and take proactive actions to achieve them. So, rather than changing companies, I’ve found it personally rewarding career-wise to have open and honest conversations with my manager about my goals and going into those conversations prepared with a game plan. I’ve learned that when you become your own advocate and share your aspiration with others, the support will be there to get you where you want to go.
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at your company?
This is an easy one to answer — the people. Let’s face it: some days at work can be hard. To experience my own vulnerability on those days and to have others share in that and provide encouragement has made all the difference. It creates an environment that fosters experimentation when it comes to the way we approach our work and the support when these approaches may not turn out the way we want them to.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
I believe that Capital Group wants their associates to be the best versions of themselves – not only at work, but on a personal level. Throughout my career at Capital Group, I’ve seen the encouragement to invest our time in what we are passionate about both on company time and outside of work through volunteer work, non-profit board memberships and local community action days.
I’ve personally been able to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, cheer on athletes at the Special Olympics, walk the backlot at Universal Studios in support of AbilityFirst and had my first ever visit to Yosemite National Park to volunteer with conservation efforts. I think that this basic human connection — the want to help others — makes us appreciate associates as individuals. Personally, this is something that is very important to me!
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
There are many memorable pieces of career advice that I’ve received throughout the years. The career advice that I have been actively trying to follow is to take risks and be okay with being uncomfortable. I’m a person that hates failure and takes it personally when I do fail, so this was a hard concept for me to grasp at first. Just recently, I heard someone say: “Take risks and go after what you want. If you fail, so what? Learn from it and try again.” I know that throughout my career I will have failures but that the successes that come from them will be worth it.
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