Career Advice from a CG Pro | Capital Group

Life at Capital Group

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In the year 2004, the television show Friends aired its final episode, and Mark Zuckerburg and his friends launched Facebook. It was also the year that a young Edward Garza had graduated from Texas A&M in Corpus Christi. Discouraged by what he felt were limited opportunities, Ed decided to move in with his parents, who were in San Antonio. As fate would have it, he landed his first job at Capital as an American Funds Shareholder Services Representative.

Having graduated college as a criminal justice major, Ed didn’t even have a clue about mutual funds! Today, as a National Accounts Manager, he looks back at navigating his remarkable 13-year career at Capital.

Onward and upward

After his first year servicing investors, Ed knew he loved interacting with people, and he was thriving in the inclusive Capital culture. Partnering with his manager, Ed earned a promotion to an Advisor Marketing Representative role in NAD. This allowed him to learn more about the financial sales world and get closer to the core of the investment side of the business.

Ed had already taken a specific interest in the retirement plan business when a Retirement Plan Specialist role opened up. Ed was definitely interested—but he hesitated, as he felt he lacked experience for the position. At the advice of another supportive manager, who told him “let them decide you’re not ready,” he applied for the position and got it!

Ed hit a small setback a few years later when he applied for a role in LAO and wasn’t hired for the position. Instead of letting this derail him, Ed remained focused on his career and continued to cultivate relationships. Then, in 2014, he achieved his goal of becoming a National Accounts Representative. Earlier this year, Ed was promoted to his current role of National Accounts Manager.

Ed’s very own secret sauce

Ed has some advice for those navigating their careers through Capital: “Be assertive and outgoing. Treat every interaction as if it’s important. Down the road, these relationships will be important.”

He’s also proud of his time-management skills, which he says he developed while working in Shareholder Services. At the time, his schedule was mostly pre-set; but now that he’s considerably more autonomous, he still tries to maintain that discipline.

Many of us suffer from a fear of public speaking, but Ed highlights this skill as essential. To help get over this fear, he advises taking “every opportunity you get to speak in front of people.” He recommends Toastmasters, which he found “not only beneficial for public speaking, but also a great way of meeting different people, building confidence and becoming a better communicator in everyday life.”

What other good advice can Ed offer? “Put yourself out there. Always show an interest. Make yourself available. Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Don’t say ‘no’ to an opportunity just because you feel uncomfortable about it. If you give to Capital, Capital will give to you.” Lastly, and certainly not least, the role of mentors (formal or informal) has been impactful in Ed’s life. Since the start of his career, he’s valued the managers who have encouraged and supported him.

Ed’s lately been drawn to the retirement articles featured on CGWeb. As someone who works to promote retirement plans every day, he gets sincere satisfaction when real people benefit from what American Funds offers. “It makes me feel the work I’m doing is worthwhile,” he states.

About the future, Ed says, “I’d like to be here the rest of my career—to be a ‘lifer.’ I think that would be a great story!”