John Alcantara enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1999, just shy of his eighteenth birthday. He was activated after the terror attacks of 9/11 and served 9 months in Iraq before joining the reserves and reaching the rank of sergeant. After leaving the military in 2007, John held jobs in banking, mortgage lending and retail before starting a successful career at Northwestern Mutual as a financial representative.
In His Own Words
Making a Difference
I want to leave everyone I work with better off than they were before I met them. This goes for my team and our clients. By using concepts from the military, like unit cohesion, my team works well together in all conditions, even when it’s stressful. Everyone does his or her part, and the fact that clients have told us we’ve changed their lives proves it’s working. It’s all about teamwork.
A Soldier at the Ready
As a young marine in 2002, John Alcantara was pulled out of college and sent to active duty in Iraq as part of a peacekeeping unit. When Operation Noble Eagle deployed in 2003, he become part of the first division of marines to help liberate the Iraqi people. While the transitions were challenging, John believes they taught him to be prepared, no matter what happens in civilian life.
While the financial side of this career can be rewarding, an even bigger thrill comes from knowing you've helped someone overcome obstacles. We had a client who was a dentist who missed an entire year to a major illness. Our team was able to put her concerns about filing a claim at ease and walked her through the process. Although she'd already returned to work by the time the claim was filed, we were able to help her qualify for retroactive benefits that she used to purchase her own dental practice.
The discipline and motivation to succeed in this business can take a toll if you’re not prepared. For me, military training certainly helps. I get up at 4:30 a.m., work out and am in the office by 7:30 a.m., pretty much like it was in the marines. So, if you’re willing to push yourself, you can do well in this career.
Northwestern Mutual understands and embraces the values instilled by the military, so if you’ve served, you have the skills to be successful here. What I also like about the company is the fact that everyone works together for the greater good of the team. Esprit de corps, it’s called – where competition is healthy, not cutthroat.
When building your team, look for people who want to be part of something positive and create an environment that lets them grow and thrive together. Many of my team members were working in places where they weren’t happy. Now they enjoy where they work, and they’re happy in their jobs.
If you run into obstacles, think of what you accomplished in the military. I keep a picture above my phone of myself with three buddies from my regiment that I look at before making a call. When I see that, I realize that this is nothing compared to serving. Then I tell myself, “I can do this.”
Learn More About John Alcantara
Visit John Alcantara’s website to learn more about his career as a wealth management advisor and to explore career opportunities available through Northwestern Mutual.