8 Questions with a Wealth Manager

8 QUESTIONS is a series of interviews with teachers who have effectively transitioned their classroom skills into new and exciting careers in the field of education. We at Teach.com believe that teaching is a rigorous and diverse classroom in and of itself; the skills learned “in the trenches” can translate into an exciting portfolio of professional options. From education tech to consulting, the only “X factor” is where you want to go — our interviews hope to shine a light on the steps it takes to get there.

1. What’s your name, location, and current profession?

My name is Alexandra Mililli, and I am a wealth manager with the Fiorentino Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut.  

2. Where did you earn your teaching certification and where did you go to school?

I earned my teaching certificate at UConn in the Neag School of Education. I went for my undergrad and master’s at UConn and then received an MBA at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

3. How long were you a teacher for?

I taught for five years in Redding, Conn.

4. What was the most rewarding part of being a classroom teacher? What about classroom teaching did you find most challenging?

The most rewarding part of being a classroom teacher was working closely with my students and helping them achieve their goals. As a special education teacher, I was able to work with my students in a smaller setting and help them understand curriculum material or teach it in a different way than in the general education setting. It was very rewarding to watch them grow in their learning.

The most challenging part of classroom teaching is all of the paperwork and the time spent out of the classroom not teaching!

5. Why did you decide to transition from classroom teaching to your current profession?

I decided to transition from classroom teaching to my current position because although I loved teaching, I am interested in business and helping clients achieve their financial goals — and still teaching, in a different capacity. 

6. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my current role is working with people; whether it is meeting with clients or collaborating with my team, I am constantly working with people. I really enjoy learning about people and their stories and problems — and the best part is solving those problems.

7. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel in your current profession?

I gained many skills from classroom teaching that have transferred into my current role. Being able to be flexible and adapt to any situation has helped me work with people and their needs. My presentation skills have helped as well, as my partner and I deliver many presentations, and we are always in front of clients.

8. What advice would you offer a current teacher who is looking to make a career change to outside of the classroom?

The advice that I would offer would be to take chances, explore new opportunities, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable — that is how you grow!

Alex is a financial advisor with The Fiorentino Group in Stamford, Conn. Previously, she served as a wealth planning analyst with UBS, working closely with many of the firm’s top clients to achieve success through comprehensive financial planning. She holds an MBA in finance from Sacred Heart University and a master’s in education from the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. A former 8th-grade special education teacher at John Read Middle School in Redding, Conn., Alex continues her dedication to helping children with special needs through volunteer activities.

Read more from this series:

Looking to make a career leap of your own? A master of business administration (MBA) can help bridge the gap between you and a career in business management. Click to learn more.