• Nicole Johnson

BlackRock: Why are you the most qualified for the job?

Updated: Jun 21



I never really understood how I ended up in law school.


I never wanted to actually be a lawyer (and I’m not a lawyer now).


I started out as a Communication major at UCLA with aspirations to be the next ‘Oprah’ or ‘Ava’ then ended up graduating with a degree in Political Science.


In my mind, I believed that I could use my voice more effectively if I was able to reach a larger audience, and I would do it by using my skills as a storyteller, something that I was good at for as long as I could remember.


Fast forward to today.


I remember getting a call for a senior marketing role at a company that I had never even heard of. I told my husband that a company named “BlackRock” called me and he laughed. Not because he didn’t think I was good enough, or that he didn’t think I couldn’t do the job. He laughed because he knew from personal experience that I had absolutely no interest in pursuing a career in finance or any related services.


The first line under the job description said “financial services experience required.”

I had never worked at a bank, never worked in financial services, or any related field. Truth be told, I never really knew what a mutual fund was or how to use it. And I especially had never heard of an iShares. I mean, what’s an 'iShares'?

But I knew how to connect with people.


So when the managing director sat me down during my final round of interviews and asked me his final question: why do I feel that I’m the most qualified for the job, I looked at him straight in the eyes and said because the people you are trying to reach also have no clue what a mutual fund is, or an iShares, and they certainly do not know how to use it and benefit from it.


Moral of the story: Never discredit your past experiences or abilities or your own ability to step up. More importantly, never be limited by a job description that tells you what kind of skills you should have, attributes you should possess, and what you should “look like.”


You decide your own course of action — not the other way around.

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