GBWC Featured Profile

Sandra Gilpatrick

Wheaton Class of '95

by Gillian Sutton
April 2013

Sandra Gilpatrick ’95 has always had a keen interest in learning about the stock market, and began reading The Economist and Forbes while still in high school. Initially, she was on a Political Science/Pre-Law track her freshman year at Wheaton but after a Junior Year at Dartmouth College as part of the 12 College Exchange program, she changed her major to Economics. Sandra credits the ratio of handsome men in this field, as well as an impressive course selection at Dartmouth, as solidifying factors in this new concentration. Using Dartmouth’s career center, Sandra landed an internship with Lehman Brother’s Equity Research Department in Washington, DC, and had the opportunity to work under a well-known analyst who focused on how congressional legislation affected the US stock market. Her contributions as an intern were recognized as a by-line in a research report at the end of the summer. That small mention and Sandra’s internship experience became an important factor in obtaining her first job after graduation from Wheaton.

Coming back to Wheaton for her senior year Sandra says she likely spent more time at the Filene Center than the library! A posting from a Wheaton Alumna working at Smith Barney was only minutes old when she jumped at it; it was a move that would steer the course of Sandra’s career. After landing the job she relocated to Connecticut and went through a rigorous Financial Advisor training program. The hours were long and the rewards were distant, but eventually an exciting opportunity arose in the large Boston office. Sandra met her husband George while he was volunteering as a skipper at a free sail day on the Boston Harbor and together they established a home on Beacon Hill where they are currently raising their five-year-old son. She feels that dedicating her twenties entirely to her career created many more opportunities for her in her thirties. In addition to being part of the GBWC for over a decade, Sandra is Chair of Horticulture for the Beacon Hill Garden Club, a founding committee member for a local play space, and Proprietor at the Boston Athenaeum. In her spare time Sandra says she and her husband enjoy lectures and dinners with friends at the St. Botolph Club, or a game of squash together.

Recently, Sandra left her firm after 17 years to create her own practice dedicated to helping women in transition. Women going through important life changes like a shift in marital status, children, or a new career should consider re-evaluating (or beginning) their financial plan and investment strategy. Sandra’s focus is to make women comfortable with their financial lives. Sandra says being a wealth consultant is a relationship business, and she wants to help women to feel educated and in control, and to be someone they can trust to help them with difficult choices. By speaking honestly and openly and by understanding the unique concerns of each woman, Sandra has built a successful practice in a profession that is largely male-dominated. More information about Sandra’s venture can be found on her website sandragilpatrick.com

Sandra turns forty this year and has been reflecting on the balance between work and home life that is such a popular media topic lately. Sandra feels her career as a wealth consultant offers the ability to balance motherhood, a full-time career, community activities, and a vibrant social life, and hopes that more women explore this profession as a good opportunity to do the same. Sandra exemplifies the Wheaton spirit of community and service and will be deservedly recognized with the 2013 Alumnae/i Achievement Award at commencement this May.