Women in Business
Nevertheless, She Prevailed.
There are certain times in your career that define you, Jennifer reflects some of those moments.
There are certain times in your career that define you. Jenn Solis, Vice President of Closing at Atlantic Bay, describes one of these pivotal moments in her life when she had to act a certain way in order maintain a level head.
Jenn reflects on a time with a previous employer where she felt as if boundaries were being placed in front of her just because she was a woman. And instead of an environment of building each other up, she felt as if her female peers were set up to compete with each other.
“Shortly after I was hired, I watched my supervisor as she was gunning for her boss’s job. Her boss just happened to be someone I used to work with at a different company, so I knew her very well. I remember that sometimes she would go above everyone’s head and seemed pretty disgruntled."
The company ultimately ended up asking if Jenn wanted the position that her supervisor was seeking.
“So many on our team had already leaned on me for advice or asked me for help. But, when the option was offered to me, I just couldn’t take it. We already worked together so much, I just thought it wouldn’t be a good idea. So, I was promoted to her equal so that both of us were running the department together.”
While reflecting on this particular moment in her career, she sees now that it was a lot harder on her than she initially felt at the time.
“I had to say no to an opportunity, but the company knew the type of person I was - I never wanted to step on anyone’s toes, I’m truly not that type of person. The less drama the better. She was always nice to me, but she ended up giving her notice. She wasn’t happy so she left.”
Jenn had an opportunity at Atlantic Bay to really let her voice be heard – something that she wasn’t ready to do back then. But those days are over. Now, when she’s sitting in meetings or on important calls, being quiet is the last thing on her mind.
“I’ve learned to voice my opinion – don’t be afraid to speak up and offer your thoughts. Our team welcomes that,” Jenn says. “I’m the type of person who used to keep my thoughts to myself, but that has been a huge learning moment for me. Maybe even my number one lesson. If you’re in a meeting or brainstorming – any idea is plausible, and it’s welcomed here at Atlantic Bay.”
On becoming a manager
Jenn’s mentality as a manager is straightforward: “If you always come at things with a level-head and you don’t let your emotions get in your way, then you can really overcome everything.”
She never really wanted to become a manager, so when the idea was brought to her, she was hesitant but willing to try anything and see how it goes.
“I never managed before, and having dealt with all my experience with my past managers I was a bit hesitant. I think the people who run the ship play a huge part in how the people under them manage.” Jenn says. “I love helping people and teaching. But I just thought that one: would I even be good at it? And two: Did I want to do it given my history with management? I just wasn’t sure I would want any part of it.”
Her management style some 10 plus years later
Now that she oversees a team of 55 people, she’s learned a thing or two.
“You’ve got to have fun and you have to get your work done. In this business, you can easily make mistakes. The closing side of lending is so fast paced, and our turn time is a small window. We know mistakes are going to happen, but it’s all about quantity and quality. I made sure that one of the first things I did in my role as a manager was to make the process easier. Creating checklists was a big thing for me, I wanted to streamline processes and make our closers’ lives easier.”
When we asked Jenn what makes a good manager she said, “We all have the same goals for our teams no matter if you’re a male or a female. At Atlantic Bay, we want to take care of our team.”
These are personal anecdotes from each individuals experiences that are unique and not representative of Atlantic Bay's views or practices. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.