By Suzy Reyes
Name: Juan Raul Gutierrez Jr.
Occupation: Relationship Manager and Registered Broker with TD Ameritrade
Education Background: Bachelors in Theology from Grand Canyon University, 2016. Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Syracuse University with a concentration in analytics and marketing, 2019.
Courses Taught: Organizational Behavior, Elements of Marketing, Business Decision Making and Consumer Finance for Extension’s cooperative with the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians.
Juan Raul Gutierrez Jr. is an instructor for Manage Your Future, a pre-college program where high school students participate in courses such as Business Management, Organizational Behavior, and Business Decision Making to get a head-start in the business world.
Manage Your Future gives high school students the opportunity to participate in college-level business classes through UC San Diego Extension with the chance to receive college credit, collaborate with professionals in the industry and discover where their true potential lies within the business sector.
We asked Juan how he got to where he is today and what advice he gives to students looking to go into a Marketing or Business profession.
What was your initial career plan before college?
Initially, I wanted to use education to augment my career at Costco Wholesale. I was already in lower management, and I wanted to use education to get ahead. But experience has a funny way of stretching in ways you never thought it would. As I continued my education, my goals got bigger and my aspirations became loftier. I had things I always wanted to do that I thought I would never accomplish. Education made me feel empowered, so my career goals changed and with them my life as well.
How did you develop an interest in business management and marketing?
I have worked in client-facing roles for the better part of 25 years. My MBA has a dual emphasis on marketing and analytics. I see analytics as a tool for understanding the state of the consumer and where the current market is, and marketing as a way of understanding where customers aspire to be. Marketing is a natural fit for me, having spent so much time with customers.
What is the most common mistake people make when asking about your profession?
The job I do deals mostly with servicing large Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) and Investment Advisor Representatives (IAR). People tend to ask me about the state of the market. I hold a broker’s license to make it easier for financial professionals to talk to me. They can describe their problems and I can understand them in a more functional way. Once you take the 7 and 63 (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA, licenses), so many things are implicit. The licenses help me speak the same language as the people I serve and understand the different problems and how advisors are affected by them. I deal less with the market than an active trader would daily.
What kind of person would be most successful in this profession? What technical and interpersonal skills do they need?
There are many ways to gauge success. I think success in any workplace is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses first, and then understanding how you fit into the overall environment. In a relational setting, it may be beneficial to have a social mentality. I am an extrovert by nature, so it is natural for me to interact with people in a very upbeat way. Introverts may prefer the analytical, or functional side of the job more. In the end, everything is about people, so I believe the strongest skills are always the interpersonal ones.
What’s a typical day like for a person in your role?
I spend much of my day speaking with people. On a typical day, I can spend anywhere between 70 to 80 percent of my time on the phone. The rest of my time is spent answering emails, running reports, and speaking with subject-matter experts concerning compliance or regulatory matters. My position has made me a very strong multi-tasker. It can get away from me at times because I am willing to take on so much. When that happens, things can feel out of control. The more you do, the more organized you have to be, and the more time you need to spend with the small details.
What do you wish everyone knew about the Manage Your Future program?
I really wish people knew the effort of the team behind it and the value of the program. I get to spend time with pre- and post-college aged adults. The young students get to glean from the experiences from the older ones, and the older students get to re-discover the value of learning.
I didn’t go back to school until after I was thirty, so as an older student it was clear to me how much I had grown as a person. Everything you have done as a professional, as a parent and as a person, makes it much easier to focus.
Additionally, teens are given a chance to be treated like a young professional. In my classes, I like to expose the college-bound student to the MLA (Modern Language Association) style, a writing approach used for college-level essays, and other common things that they will be exposed to in college.
Any advice for those interested in pursuing this certificate about the benefits or considerations?
You will be exposed to university-level content and curriculum. There is no difference between the books I would use to teach a university class and what we use in the Manage Your Future program. One thing this structure does allow is the ability to be flexible with what and how we teach. If I feel that it would be effective for me to utilize some type of game to teach them these concepts, I can do that.
Additionally, I do not have to maintain strict standards about how things are done. People are busy. Being flexible lets students know that I care about what they have going on. The most important thing for me is that they learn and benefit from being exposed to new information.
How can people leverage the current climate to get ahead and skyrocket in business?
The state of the current market is a huge opportunity. The market may have cost people a lot of money, but for those that have yet to invest, they can get into the market at one of the most drastic slumps in the last 100 years. The quarantine also provides time for additional learning.
I wanted to take a couple of certifications this year that will increase my value and my ability to learn, but my time is limited. Many people now have time to go back to school or focus on a certification that will help them in the future.
This blog was edited for length and clarity.
Learn more about the Manage Your Future Program with courses such as Organizational Behavior, Elements of Marketing, and Business Decision Making. Now offered online/remotely.