Northwestern Mutual

Andrea Koryn Williams

See how Andrea Williams is building financial health in underserved communities across the Chicago area.


Andrea Williams started college with a full academic scholarship to study medicine, but her love of finance and economics soon set her on another course. After graduating summa cum laude from Dominican University with a degree in finance, she set forth on a career as a financial professional. In 2008, she began her practice with Northwestern Mutual.

Today, Andrea works to foster financial health for of all her clients, many of whom are medical professionals. She is also navigating her own path in the financial industry working with diverse communities.

In Her Own Words

Making a Difference

Once I committed to this career, I knew I wanted to help build financial health in underserved communities. One of my focuses has been reaching out to women and minority clients, particularly physicians, dentists and business owners.

Many of these professionals have never been approached by a financial advisor, and most don’t have a strategy for long-term financial health. My job is to empower them with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their futures.

It’s also important for me to bring more multicultural candidates into the financial services industry. I mentor new financial representatives and help them learn how to put clients on the path to financial security.

Ultimately, this work is about helping people, and I’ve seen the impact it can make within my own family. In 2013, my brother suffered a football accident that left him with severe brain damage. It is almost impossible to anticipate tragedy like this and it is one of my main motivations to help as many people as I can. I help others plan for the unexpected because I’ve experienced the unimaginable.

Career Rewards/Challenges

It’s rewarding to see my clients grow and progress when they receive the information they need to build a strong financial plan. It’s also rewarding for me to grow and progress as a financial advisor as I advance my knowledge and hone my expertise.

I’ve been able to create my own path in this profession, and Northwestern Mutual has supported and encouraged me every step of the way. I’ve also had the opportunity to be active in my community and to support causes that are important to me.

When I started with Northwestern Mutual, I knew there wouldn’t be a set income—so I took an analytical approach. I worked through the numbers, saw where I needed to be financially, built a plan to get there and stuck to it.

Networking was key. I reached out to people in my neighborhood and my church, linked in with alumni groups and joined organizations. In time, my business thrived. Now, my team handles the daily operation of my business so I can spend more time with clients.

Career Advice

Staying power is important in this career. You have to be diligent and patient. Focus on developing lasting relationships, commit to your work and build something significant. A few years down the road, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.

As you grow your career, define how you like to deliver information and look for clients who respond to that style. Physicians and those who appreciate financial education over blanket advice have been receptive to my style so I’ve continued to focus on them as clients.

Finally, take time to celebrate your accomplishments and to be proud of what you do. Your work makes an impact every day.

Learn more about Andrea Williams

Visit Andrea Williams’s website to learn more about her career as a financial advisor and to explore opportunities available through Northwestern Mutual.

Read about Andrea’s success in niche practice and clientele in Forbes.