Voice of Experience: Andrea Mygrant; Managing Director, Major Accounts; FIS Global

While hard work is important, there’s another key predictor of professional success, says FIS Global’s Andrea Mygrant, and that’s the importance of your network.

I saw that it was vital early in my career to make sure I had a great mentor who guided me  to prioritize meeting everyone I could—both within my firm and externally with clients—and then to keep in touch.” As she notes, it’s a small community and industry, and she has frequently seen people who have circled back into her life. “They have helped me build new relationships and boosted my progression,” she notes, adding that not everyone realizes how important it is to focus on building that strong network early on to help open doors throughout your career.

Client Service at the Core

Although Mygrant was pursuing a pre-vet track in college, she changed directions after an internship at financial services firm Brown Brothers Harriman which was her first time working in fintech and with clients.

Working at a global custodian firm like that provided an important perspective on how the entire industry worked, thus kicking off her new career path. Ever since, she’s been focused on client relationships, up to her current role where she builds those relationships at an executive level.

With an insatiable curiosity, Mygrant has always looked forward to the next big thing as there’s always something innovative happening in this space. Just recently she helped a large client she’s partnered with over the past two years successfully launch a complex, integrated solution.

It had very high visibility in the organization.They were looking for a solution of different products to link together using tools that hadn’t been deployed in conjunction before,” Mygrant explains. “We were able to jointly put together the pieces, thus fulfilling a complicated deal with a lot of moving parts and unknowns.” They achieved a successful go live in January 2020. “I’m really proud that we were able to build something brand new that was important for them to be successful, resulting in such a satisfied client.

In an industry that’s always changing, she’s currently observing the new “blurry lines” separating pure technology firms that are veering into territory occupied by financial institutions. “I’m watching big companies like Amazon or Google and seeing what they will do going forward. It’s vital to be quick to market, and they have the resources to do that.

Giving Women the Support to Be Successful

As a new mom, Mygrant has been particularly focused on new challenges she’s encountered by being a working mom in the finance industry. Of course, she realizes that many things have improved over the past decade, from extended maternity or paternity leave to funding for IVF to the ability to ship milk when you travel. But here are still disparities—such as the fact that there might be a space set aside to pump, but it’s not always comfortable or convenient. And while some states are improving laws and implementing steps forward, she believes that it’s up to senior women in the workforce to help get the message heard throughout organizations. “Having key programs and options in place makes people want to come back,” she notes. “Support your employees and they’ll be loyal.

Another way Mygrant sees that companies should support their employees is through robust mentorship programs. “I can’t emphasize enough how much my mentors molded and shaped me in the right way early in my career.” She now pays it forward to other women in her organization but is well aware that in a cost-cutting environment, formal programs may become downscaled or vanish. And that’s a shame she says, since helping guide young professionals is a huge win for companies.

Her advice to newer talent is to never be afraid to ask for what they need or to take chances. “The worst that can happen is that someone says no.” You will never feel 100% confident about something new and so you have to go for it.

Baking as Relaxation

While free time is at a premium with a young child, Mygrant is still able to indulge in one of her biggest passions—baking. She is a member of a cookbook club and a baking club, and every year around the holidays, which also coincides with her birthday, she takes two days off and bakes upwards of 30 items for a huge holiday party and as gifts for friends. “Baking is a fantastic way to relieve stress and remove yourself from a job that today is a 24-hour endeavor, given all the ways we are connected. It’s a huge relief to do something I enjoy, and at the same time, it allows me to give back to my friends.”