Changing jobs at Capital: Michael Tom’s story | Capital Group

Life at Capital Group


Michael Tom pursues the opportunities at Capital Group

Meeting planning coordinator Michael Tom began his career at Capital Group in 2008 as an Office Services intern in San Francisco, while he was a student majoring in hospitality management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. So how did he move to his current role in Los Angeles organizing and supporting complex meetings for various fund boards and our investment business units?

Capital was “eye-opening”

Michael’s credentials are first-rate. After graduating college magna cum laude, he worked as a restaurant manager for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Atlanta, GA. “But my time as an intern at Capital left a strong impression on me and I wanted to come back after graduating,” he recalls.

The advice of Office Services senior manager Audra Narikawa resonates with Michael. She says, “Opportunities aren’t always presented at the time of your choosing, but you have to pursue them when they arise.” Right out of college, he took a job in his chosen field, but eventually took another job, at Capital, and that led him to his current position.

“I had tunnel vision going into college,” Michael says. “I wanted to be a hotel general manager. But coming to Capital for a summer was eye-opening; it showed me that my skill set was valuable and transferable outside the hotel industry.

“During the internship, I worked primarily on special projects. They ranged from helping to establish global food safety standards, to working with an external consultant to redefine processes and guidelines, to helping with associate moves.” Michael also managed a large donation of office supplies to the nonprofit Making Waves, and worked on several of the office’s more intricate meetings.

“Opportunities are not always presented at the time of your choosing; you have to pursue them when they arise.”

—Audra Narikawa

Making a return journey

“Even while I was working at the Ritz-Carlton, I continued to consider opportunities at Capital” Michael recalls. “In 2012, a position became available in San Francisco under Office Services senior manager Rena Fritts, who had been my internship manager. I accepted the job, working on daily operations and facilities and finance projects. Just over a year ago, I transferred to the Meetings, Events and Travel Services (METS) team. It’s a great fit for my background in hospitality.”

Michael’s job definitely keeps him busy; he commonly works early mornings and late evenings and travels about 25 percent of the time, which is typical for meeting planners. In-person meetings continue to be critical at Capital. “We find that regardless of technological advancements, associates still demonstrate the need to meet and collaborate in person with their colleagues around the world. It’s rewarding to know that I play a part in helping Capital’s business groups achieve their objectives.”