By Ntate, Inclusion Advisor

FIND YOUR FIDELITY through Ubuntu.
This African philosophy shapes my work as an inclusion advisor.

Ubuntu means “I am because we are. Humanity toward others.” And for Ntate, it also represents the best part about working at Fidelity, which is the people. Every day he applies this philosophy to his job, and at Fidelity, he has found his purpose and more. Read on to learn more about Ntate.  

Finding My Path

I started my career in sales working for a small company in Merrimack, NH and every day, I’d drive by the Fidelity regional center on my way to and from work. I was curious, because I would see so many cars drive in and out of campus and thought it might be an interesting place to work. So, I decided to do some research about the company and really liked what I learned.

After finding a job opportunity, I submitted my application. I was so excited to begin a new role as a Financial Associate in customer service, helping people with their finances over the phone. The fact that I did not have a financial services background didn’t matter. Of course, there was intimidation and anxiety at first, but I remember my trainer Jeff immediately calmed my fears. He projected an attitude of “Welcome, let’s be successful together.”

As time went on, I met more people and felt that my career options really broadened. At one point, I imagined myself standing in front of a classroom, wearing a bow tie, and training our new associates. And, guess what, this dream came true for me! I believe it came true because one, I expressed a desire to become a facilitator. And two, my manager supported me with my goal by giving me opportunities and connecting me with other people – people that I’m still in touch with to this day.

Even though Fidelity is focused on financial services, it’s important to know that within the company, we have roles for broader skill sets. You need a legal department, you need a back-office department, you need a technology team, you need a production team to do all these wonderful commercials, and so forth. Since I started at Fidelity, I’ve had many jobs. Actually, I would say I’ve had many careers from starting out as a financial associate to facilitating training for new associates, to becoming a team leader, and most recently, to working as an inclusion advisor.

The best part about working at Fidelity is the people. I focus on building and nurturing relationships with others. Over the years, I’ve benefited from wonderful mentors who have pushed me out of my comfort zone and continue to support my growth to this day. And I make it a point to help do the same for others. You don’t find this at many companies.

Sharing Ubuntu and Putting it into Practice

My family and I came to the U.S. from South Africa 25 years ago. And last fall, I had the opportunity to do something I’ve only dreamed of. I was a featured speaker at Fidelity’s annual Benefits Summit, which is a large event that supports our corporate clients. During my session, I shared the concept of Ubuntu, which, in Africa means, ‘I am because we are – humanity toward others.’ This is a philosophy I hold near and dear to my heart and try to put into practice each day.

When I spoke about Ubuntu with senior leaders, I reinforced the importance of mentorship, reverse mentorship, and making time to listen to different perspectives. I talked about how important it is to understand different dimensions of diversity and how to be more inclusive leaders. And so, we spoke about the importance of just appreciating and valuing everybody that looks and feels different than you.

This was one of the highlights of my career, because I had a chance to share a philosophy that’s meant so much to me. And on top of that, I shared it beyond Fidelity, to other senior leaders at large companies. It was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had and a great honor to represent Fidelity, especially during 2020 when we had a lot of issues in the world that we were grappling with.

So back to Ubuntu. Fidelity is who we are because of our customers. I am who I am professionally because of those who chose to invest in me. And now I choose to pay it forward by investing my time in others.

Embracing My Purpose

When I started out in my career, there was something missing, which was the feeling of contributing and truly making an impact on somebody. Fourteen years later, I’m now an inclusion advisor. Looking back, I’m surprised and in awe of my non-traditional career path.

In my journey, I found my purpose at Fidelity, which is to bring out the best in people. I’ve been able to bring out the best in our customers, by talking to them over the phone and being able to educate them about their retirement plan. And in my current role, I’ve been able to bring out the best in my colleagues, by mentoring, talking to, and coaching other associates, peers, and leaders.

It was that sense of community that I saw from afar before I worked here. And then when I got here, everyone was so welcoming and supportive. It doesn’t matter where you come from, just come in, we’ll train you and you’ll have an opportunity to be able to experience whatever direction your career takes you. And that’s held true for me!

If you have the will and desire to be successful, you can grow at Fidelity.

Think a financial services career isn’t meant for you?  Think again.