Nisu Patel ’18 has been recognized by Northwestern Mutual as one of the top financial advisers in the country for 2021. Patel is the second youngest adviser in the nation, and the youngest in Alabama, to reach the company’s Forum status and will soon be inducted into their elite Forum Group.
In addition, Patel is currently one of the company’s top 10 advisers in Alabama and was named as a “Top 5” intern while he was a student at Samford.
What does this national recognition mean to you?
I am humbled and honored to receive such a prestigious recognition. It’s an incredible honor because out of the 10,000+ advisers, where some have tenures upward of 30 years, we were able to achieve this milestone three years after graduation and at such a young age. This recognition came to fruition because of the wonderful people who have poured into me along my journey thus far and I don’t take that lightly! This recognition solidifies that: age does not matter, a great mindset and great guides on your journey will take you to places you never dreamed of going, and our big dreams are only scratching the surface of our true untapped potential.
How did Samford and its Brock School of Business prepare you for your finance career?
Coming into Samford as a first-generation immigrant student there were many challenges I faced. The lessons I learned through those challenges translated particularly well as I transitioned into my career and decided to build a financial planning firm that can serve multiple generations. Samford taught me to stay true to myself and to always show up as the authentic and genuine Nisu Patel. I learned how to communicate better with people who have different backgrounds, life experiences, and stories. Most importantly, I learned the value of relationships.
What influential relationships do you look back on during your time at Samford?
Samford across the board is full of extraordinary people with high character – professors and students alike. I believe that my environment has made it easier for me to have success in different aspects. People are instrumental parts of your environment. Samford introduced me to people that have similar values, hold me accountable, and are simply fun to be around. As you progress through life and start realizing what your purpose is, your circle starts to shrink and a lot of my circle to this day is filled with Samford Bulldogs.
In light of the pandemic, and the impact it’s had on today’s workforce, what advice do you have for current finance students as they prepare to launch their careers?
First, I recommend students to read a book that a mentor shared with me which helped me lay the foundation for a path of personal growth. That book is The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay. I would also encourage students to be naturally curious as they are exploring opportunities. Coming out of a pandemic, people are realizing that conformities are meant to be deviated from and you can take nontraditional paths to get to where you want to be. As students in today’s world, do everything in your power to stack the odds in your favor. Do more research on the company and industry than your competition and peers, come prepared with questions and an idea of what you want to take away from the conversation, and finally go above and beyond in your follow ups to be memorable and to set yourself apart.