Q &A with TPGF Fellow Caitlin Fischer

May 24, 2017   //   by Caitlin Fischer   //   Q & A with TPGF  //  Add a Comment

Caitlin and the Foundation connected early last summer with the assistance of TPGF Advisor Hank Torbert. She is a UVA graduate whose hometown is Leesburg, VA. Early on Caitlin assisted TPGF with the TPGF Golf Tournament at TPC Potomac in July and followed that by becoming the Editor/Publisher of “The Inside Pitch” Foundation newsletter. She took a job working for Bessemer Trust in Chicago in April and is setting into the Windy City quickly! An enthusiastic athlete, coach and sports fan her favorite baseball team is the St Louis Cardinals!

TPGF – Caitlin, you’re a UVA grad. Tell us how you selected UVA and give us a few comments on college life in Charlottesville?

Great question, right off the bat! There is just one disclaimer: I did grow up a Hokie because my mom played basketball for Virginia Tech. However, I remember visiting UVA for the first time in the sixth grade and I was in awe of the Rotunda, the Lawn, and the sheer kindness of those in the community. The atmosphere and academics seemed to fit my character and what I found was I wanted a well-rounded education that was focused on the liberal arts and the humanities paired with applied coursework.

My parents were very supportive and not once did my mom dissuade me from attending Mr. Jefferson’s university (she rightfully encouraged it!). Truth be told, I met the greatest people on the Grounds at UVA and thoroughly enjoyed every second of my undergraduate career. Charlottesville is rather near and dear to my heart and the best a college town has to offer. GO HOOS!

TPGF – We know you’re a basketball coach in your spare time – how did you get started doing that?


Basketball has been a huge part of my life. My mom absolutely loved the game and I was always around it growing up, whether it was playing it or watching it. I started coaching in high school because one of my friends asked if I would help out with a developmental league. I loved kids and sports, but I was a little apprehensive at first about coaching third grade boys. My friend and I continued to coach 3rd, 4th, and 7th grade boys teams in the Loudoun County area during my high school years. This past winter, my mom and I coached my younger brother’s freshmen high school team. My mom is truly the greatest coach – teaching the fundamentals, the importance of playing good defense, and how those who give the most heart and are humble about their successes will be the greatest players. I also have to say it was great coaching my little brother because of his attitude and level-headedness.

TPGF – What other sports did you play and what do you do now when you work out?


Soccer and basketball were my two main sports. I started playing soccer at age four on an all boys team in because I missed the sign-up for the girls league since I was moving to Charlotte, NC. I always played basketball growing up but I started playing in a league in third grade once I moved back to Northern Virginia. I preferred team sports because of the camaraderie and the friendships. Nowadays, I try to keep up with running, I really like long, endurance runs because as they are as good mentally as they are physically

TPGF – As you started your job search there were several career paths options that you found interesting. How did you finally settle on Wealth Management?


I knew I wanted to work for a firm where I would feasibly be able to help and serve others. My first semester of my fourth year in college, I was looking into private equity because of how intriguing the line of work seemed to be. However, I found that those roles had minimal relationship development and were heavy on the quantitative side for an entry-level analyst position. I rerouted to exploring marketing positions, but I found that those firms were also serving relatively large clients. In regards to wealth management, my dad’s background was in private wealth management and I was able to see how appreciative and grateful he was for his clients and even to this day he keeps in close contact. I also had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Okun at Bessemer Trust, who was a tremendous help in not only passing along my information, but describing Bessemer as a firm that is bar none in the industry today. I could not be happier and I absolutely love the people and the type of work I am doing on a day to day basis at Bessemer. Private wealth is the perfect medium for those who are both social and analytical but want a more personal business relationship and that is what I found I enjoyed the most. I am very, very thankful for this opportunity and the people who supported me along the way.

TPGF – What advice do you have regarding the ‘search process’ for those who follow you?


Patience is a virtue. That is by far the biggest piece of advice I can give. However, I may add that you have to actively pursue or at least “keep swimming,” throughout the entire process. Also, do not underestimate mentors, I have been so lucky to have so many great people who truly want me to succeed and who have given me opportunities I otherwise would have never had.

TPGF – You’ve moved into a new city – Tell us about that process?


It has been a major change, especially since I am so close to my family and friends back on the east coast. My move has made me appreciate how much I have even though I moved to a completely new city. My parents were extremely supportive, along with the rest of my family and friends. Fair warning: when you visit home, everyone will have a million and one questions to ask you. I would say, once I settle down and get into the swing of things I will feel more at ease. What is nice is that there are so many areas to explore and things to do in Chicago – there is never a dull moment!

TPGF – Rumor has it that you may be a STL Cardinals fan? Is that true? How did that happen since you grew up in the DC area?


One hundred and ten percent true! My dad grew up in a small farm town about an hour outside of St. Louis. From a very young age, I was told the only baseball team I could cheer for was the Cards. I can’t complain because they are one of the most well respected sports franchises.

TPGF – Any advice you have for those about to go through the interview process? Both with regard to finding jobs of interest and the interview itself?


As aforementioned, you have to be patient and there is nothing wrong with being particular during the process, as long as you are willing to take the time and put forth the effort. In regards to the interview, I would say you have to show up to the interview with questions that really make the interviewers think. Especially in regards to their firm and the culture they try to instill. Moreover, read up on what is happening in the news about their firm and do not be afraid to ask loaded questions because you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Also, the more and more you fine tune your story the easier it will be able to convey that you are interviewing for the right reasons and not just because you had a time slot. You always have to be mindful of other people’s time and graciously thank them!

TPGF – The Foundation believes strongly in ‘Pay it Forward’ – you subscribe to that concept?

Absolutely! No question about it.

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