This month’s professional spotlight features Meron Yemane. Meron is a Financial Advisor and Financial Planning Specialist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Read this month’s spotlight to learn more about Meron and his work.

Could you briefly explain some of your responsibilities in your current career role.

I work with individuals, families, foundations and endowments to provide financial advice and guidance, and take great pleasure in helping clients achieve their financial goals.

How did you come to decide that this was the right career path for you?

I always knew that I wanted to work with people in some capacity, and that I enjoy helping others achieve their goals. I have also had an interest in the stock market from a young age, so this position provided me with the opportunity to combine those two elements into one professional path that I enjoy.

Is there a philosophy that drives your career?

While there is no single philosophy that drives my career, the realization of the many sacrifices my parents made for me so that I could have the opportunity to thrive is the fire that motivates and pushes me every day. Throughout my life, I have identified with these two simple quotes:

“Determination beats ability every time,” and “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

These two phrases remind me to wake up every day with the mindset to work hard, stay motivated, and remain focused on moving the ball forward in all that I do.

What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment?

I have been very fortunate in my career to work with fantastic people, and I have also been fortunate enough to be a part of many impactful non-profit boards in my community. Each time I am able to help a family achieve their financial goals or help a non-profit move its mission forward, I am reminded to keep going. I am proud that at age 32 I have been recognized as “40 under 40” by the Central Penn Business Journal, have been appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to join a Board focused on fighting workplace injustice, and along with my teammates have helped grow my professional practice every year in order to help more people achieve their financial goals. I remain motivated to continually improve, grow, and give back.

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone looking to transition into your line of work?

I would suggest that you work hard every day and do for your clients as you would do for yourself or your own family. Your reputation is all that you have in an industry like mine, and you must work hard to protect it and honor it by choosing to do the right thing, every time.

How does your professional image online, in person, and in other areas have an impact on your career?

I understand that the image I portray in every aspect of my life is an extension of how I am perceived by my clients and in my community. Since I am being trusted by clients to manage their assets, it is vital that my image across those areas is consistent and an accurate reflection of who I am, my values, and my work ethic. I firmly believe that a reputation is of great importance professionally and personally, and that we must work hard to maintain that positive reputation. We all have the responsibility to protect our personal brand and image by doing what you believe in and making decisions that you will be proud of both now and 20 years from now.

Outside of all of your hard work and efforts toward building your brand, what do you do for fun? Hobbies?

I love to dedicate time to help shape and improve my community through work with local non-profit and community-focused organizations. I also find a lot of joy in identifying ways to bring people together through collaboration. When I am not working professionally or in a volunteer capacity, I really enjoy exploring through travel and seeing new places in the world. The world is so vast, yet every time we are able to experience a new destination, meet new people, and experience other cultures, our worldview is shaped and molded and our life experiences are improved.