Olin alumna launches mentorship collective for women in finance

  • October 22, 2020
  • By Guest Blogger
  • 2 minute read

Angel An, BSBA 2016, works for Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, where she supports and invests in early stage tech and tech-enabled startups led by women and multicultural entrepreneurs. She wrote this for the Olin Blog.

“All talents deserve to be seen.”

That was the life belief of my dearest mentor, Susan Stanton, who spent her entire life educating and mentoring underrepresented students and young professionals like myself—despite having no child of her own.

Unfortunately, she passed away last year. Because there is nothing I could do for her but pay it forward, my co-founders and I created ACE Women’s Collective to honor Susan and many selfless mentors like her to help our peers the way Susan helped me: by supporting all talents, connecting growth-oriented people and sharing knowledge and resources.

ACE is an online community where junior women in finance talk candidly and empower one another. We crowdsource mentorship and make the advice that is usually only shared behind closed doors accessible to all.

Specifically, we host intimate speaker sessions, provide a forum for peer mentorship and encourage our community members to strategize to win.

A rewarding start to ACE

ACE launched on September 1, 2020. Merely after the first month, we were thrilled to have connected with more than 500 ACE members. We successfully hosted the first fireside chat with about 100 attendees.

Looking at a virtual room of diverse audience members who took an hour off on a Thursday night to attend our event, I felt moved by their commitment to personal development and shocked by the overwhelming desire to find the right mentors (see event Instagram recap).

As a Chinese lady and foreign worker in the United States in the banking industry, I learned the hard way that hard work alone is definitely not enough.

Without the right mentors to help us navigate through office politics, we would pretty much be in the dark.  

Angel An

However, finding a right mentor is primarily based on luck, given the serious pipeline issue with successful female leaders. Hectic work schedules, competitive personalities and conflicts of interest can make it even more challenging.

Another event on tap

I am grateful for having met mentors like Susan who guided me to understand the unspoken rules and eventually land a work opportunity at Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, where my job perfectly aligns with my personal mission.

I am hoping that ACE—my side hustle—could help solve this mentorship problem by making knowledge sharing accessible to all and be the true champion of every junior woman in finance.

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