In celebration of TXWSW’s ten-year anniversary, we are starting our limited series featuring women in senior-level positions in finance that have made a difference in the lives of their colleagues and community.
We recently sat down with Nichole Ake, who is the SVP, SR Mgr BSA/AML for BBVA Compass. She is also the 2018 President of the BBVA Houston Volunteer Chapter and is based in Houston, Texas.
Define career success.
“Being in a position to help others and provide opportunities.”
How did you choose finance as your career?
“My dad used to bring home the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal from his business trips for me to read. There was never really any question that business was in my future. He really didn’t let me quit at anything and treated me as if I was his son which in the long run helped. From there, an undergraduate degree in Finance and an internship at Lehman Brothers helped me network to my first position out of college as a trader.”
Share your best career advice.
“Service is in the details and you learn the most in crisis situations. Strive to leave everything a little better than the way you found it.”
How have networking groups like Texas Wall Street Women helped your career?
“Networking is a critical part of business. There are times to be an introvert and other times to be an extrovert. I’m more comfortable as an introvert and have to work extra hard to be an extrovert. I’ve participated in both Dallas & Houston as part of TXWSW. It has allowed me to make close connections which have lead to additional opportunities as well as serving as chair for the Education committee and serving on the Board of TXWSW. I’ve met all sorts of women, mentors and speakers. I was previously the President of the Dallas Security Traders Association. Many of the connections I have made over the years helped me find new positions or speakers.”
What is your advice on giving back and helping the next generation of women in finance?
“There are all sorts of unique opportunities to find ways to give back. I am presently the President of the BBVA Volunteer Chapter which has approximately 1,400 volunteers so I get to see and be part of all kinds of opportunities that I may not have known about. I helped interview volunteers for the Super Bowl, I was a committee leader for See Share Smile and help as a Connector for our firm’s LeaderLink program and help with our firm’s “Best Place to Work” focus. At BBVA, we host Junior Achievement events for young women and men as well as for the Women’s Resource Group. I serve on the executive committee of the Women in Leadership initiative at BBVA.”
“I also serve as a mentor for Boston College as well as for BBVA. Be part of the change you want to see and get involved no matter how big or small- make an impact.”
Do you know a phenomenal woman making a difference in finance? We encourage you to nominate your mentors, friends, and colleagues so that we can celebrate their achievements and success by sending their name, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.