Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Shaheen Mohajer Embraces Change to Help Grow His Career and Communities

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Shaheen Mohajer Embraces Change to Help Grow His Career and Communities
Topics CareersDiversity, Equity and InclusionWSFS Culture

Born in Iran in Western Asia, Shaheen Mohajer’s journey has led him to embrace change throughout his personal life and his career.

“At the age of six, my family and I escaped from Iran due to religious persecutions and danger to our family for being members of the Baha’i Faith,” Mohajer said. “We were trying to find a home for about two years until America opened its arms to us as religious refugees.”

From those beginnings, he has seized opportunities to learn and grow in his career, starting as a financial planner and advancing through the ranks at multiple organizations before landing in his current role as Vice President, Director, Structured Finance at WSFS Institutional Services in 2018.

“In my career, I have had many roles within corporate trust, from senior bond analyst, cash management manager and business development negotiation consultant to serving as a relationship manager and team manager,” Mohajer said. “I moved to Delaware with my family and two children for my current position, where I manage relationship managers and their trust associates, and we onboard new transactions, negotiate documents prior to closings, and serve as administrators to those deals for the life of the transactions.”

In addition to his job responsibilities, Mohajer has remained committed to continual growth in his career – recently graduating from Leadership Delaware in 2020 – as well as diversity and inclusion efforts both within his organizations and in the community.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Mohajer has helped build inclusive workplaces throughout his career, and has been heavily involved in diversity efforts at each organization he has worked at.

“I serve on the Advisory Board for WSFS’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group, where through education and understanding we’re working to further build an inclusive and diverse workforce,” he said. “I also assisted in various efforts at my prior organizations, including merging of the diversity employee resource groups during acquisitions, holding the position of Chief Operating Officer for the Enterprise Employee Resource Group Asian Connection with 26 Chapters within the organization across the country, and served as part of the Asian American Pacific Islander Group for the Baltimore Region.”

Mohajer is also active in the community, having served on the Development Committee for WRK/Reach Riverside, which works to transform the Riverside neighborhood into a healthy and vibrant location. He serves on the Advisory Board for Baltimore for the Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that helps with immigration advocacy and domestic public policy reform work for women and children who are fleeing abusive situations.

Career Advice
Throughout his career, as well as through his personal experiences and community work, Mohajer has learned a few lessons on how to advance your career that also serve as valuable lessons for life.

His tips for growth?

Continuously learn. “Don’t be afraid of making lateral moves if they will provide an opportunity to learn. It is important to diversify your skills if you want to advance your career.”

Be the solution. “Always be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I have always focused on how I can help solve challenges for clients, while also ensuring to keep in line with company policies and procedures.”

Embrace change. “Change is inevitable in corporate America, so find a way to embrace it and offer solutions to make processes better.”

Be a strong leader. “Lead with integrity and maintain a service attitude. I am a firm believer in servant leadership. I find that this gives employees a chance to shine and feel empowered in their jobs.”

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