Talent & Culture

Jamie Forman

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Alma Mater: Northwestern University

Major: Human Development & Psychological Services; Masters in Management Studies

Current Role: Talent Acquisition Specialist (London)

When did you start the Morningstar Development Program and what was your role? 

I started in September of 2016. My first role was on the Morningstar Office Support Team.  

What was your next position? What led you to this role? 

My second position was as a Morningstar Office Customer Success Manager (CSM). I decided to take on this role because it seemed like a good natural transition off the phones, and because I felt like it would give me a lot of skills that would be helpful as I progressed in my career: sales, relationship management, managing a book of business, travel, leading meetings, organization, communication, managing stakeholders, etc. After about a year and a half and after graduating the Morningstar Development Program, I moved from the CSM role into the Operations Team within Talent & Culture. This was a great learning opportunity to get to know both the Talent & Culture space as well as the business. It has led me to my fourth role at Morningstar, which is a Talent Acquisition Specialist within the Talent & Culture Team in our London office!  

What is a typical day in your current role?

I work closely with the recruiter here in EMEA to help source candidates, conduct interviews, build out some of our offices here in Europe, and put into place some new early career programs.  

In terms of Talent & Culture in general, I think what makes it so interesting is that there is no “typical day.” Things are constantly changing and situations arise that you could not have seen coming, which create a lot of diverse learning opportunities. Being on the Operations Team is a good way to get exposure to every area of the business and Talent & Culture and build a network with many leaders and people throughout the company.  

Did you participate in any stretch projects or ERGs? 

I participated in two stretch projects within the Talent & Culture space throughout my time on the phones. The first was helping to gather diversity data from some of our competitors and to analyze how Morningstar compared. The second was to create a case study for MDP interviews, as well as lead the case study part of the onsite days. I have also participated in WIN (Morningstar’s Women’s Initiative) activities since joining Morningstar, which are a lot of fun and a way to get to know some other really impressive women at Morningstar and beyond. 

What advice would you give your first-year self? 

I would tell my first-year self to not get too bogged down in where I was going to end up once I graduated the Morningstar Development Program. I’ve taken roles here that I never thought I would be able to do (including moving to another continent), and I think the Morningstar Development Program is really designed to encourage people to try new things and get out of their comfort zone before settling down into a career. Most of my peers from the program eventually ended up in the jobs they wanted from the beginning, so it’s nice to take a detour along the way and learn some new skills. Though this is the view I have now, looking back, I wish I had seen it that way when I was on the phones! 

What is your favorite place in Chicago? 

I have many favorite places in Chicago, but one was definitely the Lincoln Park Zoo. My roommate and I used to go out there all the time and it quickly became somewhere that I loved to go on walks, run their annual 5k, go to zoo lights or their fall fest, and enjoy the views of the city. It brings out the “kid at heart” side of me and always helped me clear my head! 

Bryanna Adams

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Alma Mater: Marist College

Major: Criminal Justice

Current Role: Operations Specialist (Chicago)

When did you start the MDP program and what was your role? 

I started the Morningstar Development Program in June 2017 as a CSR for Morningstar Managed Portfolios!

What was your next position? What led you to this role? 

I stayed on the client service train and transitioned into being the Team Lead of the Office Support Team. I had a little bit of leadership experience in college and I wanted to continue building that skill set. It was tough to learn a new product and be “in charge,” but the role emphasized a lot of really important things. One of those things is to be honest when you don’t know something. This was probably the thing I was most afraid of because I thought I needed to be at an expert level on every single thing. But, there’s power in delegation and setting proper expectations with your teammates, stakeholders, and customers. After about 9 months of that, I transitioned into a role with the Talent & Culture Team as an Operations Specialist.  

What is a typical day in your current role?

There really is no typical day if I’m being honest. We answer quick questions through the AskHR case system, run new employee orientation, help with some of the events that happen throughout the year, and take on projects that stretch from talent management to benefits (and so on). Sometimes my days are filled to the brim with meetings with stakeholders from different projects I’m working on; other days I work on a lot of cases or do independent work.  

Did you participate in any stretch projects or ERGs? 

I did a couple of stretch projects! One was evaluating the overall health of the MDP. The other was actually participating in the getting this blog updated. 

What advice would you give your first-year self? 

Every situation that presents itself to you is a learning opportunity. There isn’t a single opportunity that you will come across professionally that you completely lose from. You’ll either learn that you don’t enjoy doing something and learn means of navigating it, or learn that you do it well and add it to your tool belt. Be open to learning and building your soft-skills. There’s value in saying “yes” to things that are out of your wheelhouse.  

What is your favorite Netflix binge?

Oh goodness….this is a hard one…

Okay so, I’ve watched Scandal all the way through 7 different times. Call it an obsession, I suppose. Can I mention more than one? Because Criminal Minds is a jam.