Women in Finance Speak at Rye High School


From left, Jodi Weber, Lisa Ellis, Katie Pagen, Christine Sasse, and Kellie Walsh May.

On Thursday, April 4th, four Rye women spoke about their careers in finance and how they got to where they are now. The discussion was held in the Rye Middle School multipurpose room, and the featured panelists included Lisa Ellis, Katie Pagen, Christine Sasse, and Jodi Weber, with Kellie Walsh May as Moderator. Everyone did an excellent job and offered amazing advice that was both reassuring and inspiring.

One topic that was discussed was college and how to choose a major. Despite the immense pressure students are under to get into top colleges, all four women agreed that where you go to college is not the deciding factor in how successful you will be in life. Mrs. Sasse said, “It’s what you do with your education, not where you go.” When choosing a major, it’s most important to choose a major that interests you and makes you excited to learn. Mrs. Ellis knew she loved math and problem solving, so she majored in math and physics in college. Although she didn’t become a physicist, her knowledge of math and science helps her make stock recommendations in her job every day. Similarly, Mrs. Weber pursued her passion for political science in college but wound up in finance.

Something else the women encouraged is to take advantage of your first job experience and use it as an opportunity to learn. In her first temporary position at J.P. Morgan, Mrs. Pagen learned the importance of talking to people to build connections and open doors for herself. “Talk to everybody because networking is so important,” she said.

There were so many things I took away from the panel, but the biggest one would be to keep pursuing what fascinates me and allows me to grow. Maybe that means taking a class about a topic that I’m interested in, chasing a certain internship, or joining a club.

Every experience will allow you to learn more about yourself and what you want to devote your time to. “I learn new things at my job every single day,” said Mrs. Sasse. If you love learning, a fast-pace, and variety in your day, then a career in business may be for you.