Women in Finance

Communication Major in Finance?

Working as a Career Peer at Career Services I have many opportunities to work
events on campus. One opportunity I decided to take advantage of was to work as the “check in” peer for an event called Women in Finance . After I checked everyone in (almost all economics and accounting students) I stayed for a few minutes longer to make sure I could check in any late stragglers. While I waited the guest speaker, Nancy Ubaldi, began presenting. Her humorous personality and witty responses filled the room. Nancy is a UCSB alumni who is now VP of a fortune 500 company in the Silicon Valley. She explained how her time at UCSB was to find out what she liked. She volunteered at a Juvenile detention center and went on ride alongs with police to see if she really wanted to become a social worker. After coming home in tears after volunteering, she quickly learned she wouldn’t be as good a fit to become a social worker as she thought. So, for Nancy’s remaining time at UCSB she focused on her degree in music. Once graduating she became a music teacher in Oakland, but the job wasn’t rewarding enough for her financially or emotionally. She came across an ad in the paper describing a job in the financial industry for women. She quickly called, interviewed, and got the position.

The main motive behind Nancy coming to speak at UCSB was to talk about her
experience as a woman in a very male dominated industry- finance. Nancy not only
addressed that she believes that more women should be in the finance industry due to our compassionate and personable characteristics, but that more majors outside of economics and accounting should go into finance. Nancy expressed how because she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music, it gave her an edge in developing more personable relationships with her clientele.

Once Nancy began asking for any closing questions I realized that I had
overstayed for my shift. Not only was I so entranced in her life story, but I was in complete awe that someone who graduated with a degree in music now works in the financial industry. Being a student pursuing a degree in communication, I assumed that working in finance was out of the picture – Nancy threw that out of the window. In fact, she mentioned that 99% of interns at her financial advising firm are economics and accounting students, but encouraged that more students who are communication or psychology majors should consider this industry.

I’m sure as an undergraduate student trying to decide what major you want to
pursue you’ve heard that “your major doesn’t determine your career.” I hope Nancy Ubaldi’s success in her career path really drives that message home. And who knows, maybe I’ll pursue a career in the finance industry.

Andrea Ludovina
Career Peer Advisor


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