Ashley Johnson, CTFA®, is an Associate Integrated Wealth Advisor at Carlson Capital Management. In honor of Women’s History Month in March, we asked her to reflect on her career in wealth management. Here’s what she has to say:

Q: Why have you chosen to pursue a career in wealth management? How did you land at Carlson Capital Management?

A: My first job out of college was in the rental car industry. I worked long hours, some holidays, and many weekends. After four years, I knew that I didn’t enjoy working as a manager or in a sales position and needed a change. I do not take my time there for granted, because it taught me how to demonstrate a good work ethic, customer service skills, how to work through difficult situations, and the importance of relationship building— which are all skills that transition to any job, including the work I do today.

My first job in wealth management was working as a trust and investment associate at a large bank. Through my on-the-job training and additional coursework, I learned the business from the ground up. After a year or so, I was promoted from an associate to a fiduciary advisor role where I worked with clients on reviewing their estate plans, with trust beneficiaries requesting and receiving distributions from their trusts, and alongside our estate settlement group when clients passed away. Working in this role, I was able to see how estate plans play out and the importance of catching potential negative implications before they happen. I also served as a wealth advisor. Like my role here at CCM, I was responsible for providing a thorough analysis of comprehensive, multigenerational wealth plans— analyzing everything from cash flow and education funding to charitable giving and business succession. What I learned working in that role is that I enjoy helping clients with ALL aspects of their planning, as all are important and factor into one another. I love developing creative, tax-advantaged plans for clients that align with their goals and desires.

Q: What is it about wealth management that interests you most?

A: I genuinely enjoy helping. Our clients rely on us to provide our best advice and to help them during difficult times. The work we do for our clients really matters and has an impact on the decisions they make throughout their lives.

Q: What advice do you have for young professionals who are still finding their way?

A: Your first job out of college doesn’t define what you will be doing for the duration of your career. Almost any job will give you experience, skills, and tools that will translate over to another. Be curious, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be in uncomfortable situations—that is when you will find the most personal growth! Volunteer for the special projects at work, attend seminars or take courses when the opportunity arises, network with other professionals, and try new things. Along the way, you will find what areas are interesting to you. You will meet great people along the way who will want to teach and mentor you and help you evolve in your career.

Q: What do you look forward to in your future professional endeavors?

A: I look forward to continuing to build my career at Carlson Capital Management. I like that CCM is a smaller company that is laser focused on our clients, colleagues, and community. I look forward to building long-lasting relationships with my clients and colleagues. It is the greatest compliment when a colleague or client refers a friend or family member to work with CCM!

THANK YOU · As Ashley notes above, it truly is one of the greatest compliments when a client refers someone to CCM. Thank you for the trust you place in our firm, and for introducing your friends and family members to your CCM Advisor. It is an honor to serve you and those you care about most.