Interviewed by: Jenny Mejia, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Philadelphia University
Financial Services Professional
Windsor Financial Group
After switching majors several times at Temple University, Christopher Shields realized he wanted to focus his career on sales and business development. He credits living in Philadelphia as helping him choose a profession—he grew up working at restaurants and bars, so interfacing with people came naturally to him.
“I was fortunate to have mentors in my life that I was able to go to for guidance in looking for a career,” he said. “They were able to steer me towards some great people in the financial services industry.”
Shields is a financial services professional at Windsor Financial Group. He helps people solve financial concerns to plan strategies that will help them accomplish their long-term financial goals. “Our industry is so vast that you really need to specialize in a certain population versus trying to be okay at everything,” admitted Shields. At the end of 2014, he decided to focus on working with young professionals. “We are an ever-growing group that needs access to personalized and strategic financial advice that the generation before us didn’t necessarily need due to the economic landscape.”
Every day there is a new challenge for Shields, which is why he enjoys his work. He likes working with clients, some who have also become his friends. He connects with some of them on a monthly basis while others send him a card on his birthday. “It really means a lot to me, that my clients appreciate our work that much to consider us a member of their family.”
Outside of work, Shields enjoys getting involved with his community by serving on several boards and committees including The Young Professionals for Education Works, a group that is dedicated to providing educational advancement opportunities to students in the inner city, the Temple University Young Alumni Board, and advisory committees at his former high school. He also organizes an annual fundraiser for two football programs in his neighborhood.
Shields plays golf, attends sporting events and concerts, and loves the restaurant and bar scene in Philadelphia. His favorite things to do in Philly are going to a Phillies game, visiting museums, and enjoying the amazing food Philly has to offer.
He knows belonging to the Young Professionals Council is of the utmost importance for his career. “If you’re not meeting people, you’re not growing.” Although Shields has been involved with different professional groups in the past he explains that YPC has been a breath of fresh air. Not only do you have the opportunity to meet plenty of other professionals with diverse backgrounds, you have the chance to make true friendships as well.
Shields leaves members with some advice, “Get to know what you have here in Philadelphia. I think a lot of young professionals see the glow and attraction of New York or Washington D.C. and head there before realizing all of the great things that are right in their back yard. Get involved, network and meet new people. I think people look at networking as something just for people in sales, and for some events, it’s the truth. YPC offers a great opportunity for young professionals to casually hang out and meet other people without feeling the pressure of being sold to and that’s probably the reason I enjoy the organization as much as I do.”