Zackary Terry ’21 is a full-time management major at Siena who attends classes in between working  - also full time – at Northwestern Mutual. He’s already making his mark at the company as a financial representative. His hustle has been so outstanding that he was recently selected as one of Northwestern’s top ten college financial representatives nationwide – out of more than 3,500 contenders. He was the only college freshman so honored

Zack was featured in a video shown at the company’s recent annual meeting at HQ in Milwaukee. He and several of his co-workers attended so he could accept his award in person at the College Awards Celebration portion of the meeting. 

Mary Kay Murphy, chief recruiting officer at Northwestern’s Latham, N.Y. office, said, “To say we’re proud of him is a giant understatement. Zack continues to lead himself, and others, and proves to us every day why he made it and why we will view him as an asset to this company for a long time to come.”

Zack went to high school at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. He was thinking about what kind of career track he might want to pursue in the future, so he got in touch with distant cousin Alex Tronco, ’96, who happens to be a managing partner at Northwestern. They drove to lunch in a white Ferrari 458 and talked shop, and a week later Tronco mailed the high schooler the book Train Your Brain for Success by Roger Seip. 

Whether it was the lunchtime advice, the pointers in the book, or visions of his own potential success, Zack decided he wanted to follow in Alex’s footsteps, and he wanted to start right away.

“I looked at Alex, and how successful he is in his business and his life, which he achieved by helping families plan for their futures. It was the best of both worlds,” he said. 

Zack headed to the local Northwestern office, where they politely explained that they typically didn’t hire people as young as he was. He persisted, and landed a spot as an assistant. While still in high school, he studied for his insurance broker license and passed. 

He now meets with about 25 prospective and existing clients each week to discuss financial planning. The number varies depending on whether it’s during a semester or break. So far, he says, he hasn’t gotten many comments about his obvious youth.

“People almost never ask,” he said.

Oh, and about that ride in the Ferrari back in high school:

“On the way back from lunch, Alex handed me the keys and asked if I wanted to drive. I only had a learner’s permit at the time, but he said to go ahead. I can’t believe he was so casual about it!”

This coming academic year, Zack will keep working and studying full time. You might pass him on campus – he’ll be the guy in the suit.

“Siena has been great, and the College will continue to propel me where I want to go in my life,” he said. “I’d really like to thank Alex Tronco for taking a chance on me when he didn’t have to. I’m very blessed to have him in my life.”