In this episode of Mojo Mondays Bootcamp, Samara Cohen Co-Head of ETF Markets and Investments at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager talks about her ascent in the male-dominated world of finance and how her theatre arts degree prepared her for the trading floor. Here are my top three takeaways from our conversation:

Self care is a must. During her second year at Harvard Business School, just as she accepted an exciting job offer, Samara was diagnosed with cancer.  It’s a shocking moment for anyone, but especially a 20-something. Samara’s battle with lymphoma taught her to never take her health or well-being for granted. We must care for our bodies and minds, fuel and refuel them regularly to enable us to do what matters. What will you do to prioritize your health and well-being to ensure you are set up for success?

Nice can be a superpower. After reading the book “The Myth of a Nice Girl”, Samara said she wished somebody had told her early in her career that nice could have been her superpower versus trying to mimic the aggressive and confrontational styles of her male colleagues. Lesson learned: there are many ways to influence others and find success. Figure out what works for you. What new approach do you want to practice?

Pick the right partner. Samara’s choice for Mojo Mentor is the late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In addition to her tremendous accomplishments and impact on women, RBG showed all of us the benefit of a strong partnership with her husband who provided unwavering support for her career.  Samara shared how she too has experienced the same support from her husband, Adam who inspires her to take risks and tolerate discomfort in a challenging situation. We all need friends, family, or partners to support us.  Who will you turn to for inspiration to keep striving?

Mojo Mondays Bootcamp is here to show you what’s possible. I hope these notes help you find your mojo each week.

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