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September 2020 Member Spotlight - Shahar McSalters

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Title: AVP/ Marketing Coordinator & E-Banking Assistant
 
Company: The Harbor Bank of Maryland
 
Length of time you’ve been a FEI member: 4 years
 
FEI leadership involvement (past and present): FEI Baltimore Chapter Administrator & Board Secretary
 
Tell us a little bit about your career, educational/professional background and how you got to where you are today.
 
I’ve worked in or around the financial industry for the past 12 years. I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina and then earned my MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus.
 
I started my career straight out of high school working for Best Buy as customer service rep, then as a Loan Originator for Citi Financial. Around 2012, I began working for Citibank, and from there I held a few other positions within other organization, until I was hired as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer at The Harbor Bank of Maryland. I’ve been employed there for 4.5 years and upon earning my MBA in December 2018, I was promoted to Marketing Coordinator in 2019.
 
Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary to apply for and/or get a job?
 
During my interview with my former boss, I was extremely candid and open about my previous work situation. So much so, that I told him the intimate details of how I wasn’t getting paid regularly, how I was working two jobs at the same time, and that I knew the job I was interviewing for at the bank was a divine intervention, because I hadn’t remembered applying. Ultimately, I got the job and my life changed drastically and has been improving since!
 
What is one piece of information you wish someone had told you when you first started your finance career?
 
I wish someone would have stressed the importance of networking and maintaining business and personal relationships with people you meet along the way. You never know when you may need to call upon someone for advice, a referral, a job, or mentorship.
 
What is your best networking tip?
 
Some people are shy and quiet, while others are outgoing and talkative. I think it’s important to remember to be approachable; walk into the room with an open mind and ready to meet everyone. There is always the potential to meet someone who 1) can change or impact your life or 2) who you could impact in the same way.
 
What are some of your personal hobbies outside of finance?
 
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, and I love to travel (pre-COVID-19). Three years ago, I also started Events by ShaharAlina, an event planning company. The financial industry is great, but I have a true passion for event planning and coordination.