Business leaders today are looking for a diversity of skills, and not just technical knowledge. Pivotal right now in financial services—a relationship business—is trust built around empathy, understanding, listening skills, critical thinking. It’s not enough in financial services to simply be able to work with a spreadsheet. You need to convince your individual or institutional clients to take the right set of actions. The skills that come out of the humanities, the softer relationship skills—listening, empathy, an appreciation for context—are incredibly important.
Of the individuals in my organization who receive the most consistently positive feedback—who are most valued by our clients—only a sliver ever went to business school. Most of them learned their financial activities at our firm, but came into the firm with a much broader range of skills.