At Northwestern Mutual, a financial-planning firm that will celebrate its 160th anniversary in 2017, Michael Bush works directly with clients to help them reach their goals while also leading the office and developing new advisors. His team currently consists of 18 advisors and 14 other associates, several of whom hold degrees from Bellarmine.
How did your Bellarmine education prepare you for what you are doing today?
My time at Bellarmine, just like at St. Xavier High School, helped me realize that relationships are incredibly important in life. Bellarmine is a tight-knit community, and that bond you create with others who shared the same experiences as you did is unique. Not all universities have that among their alumni base. Just think about the success the alumni mentoring program has had the last several years—that’s not happening everywhere. In my professional career, I’m able to surround myself with other amazing people who are key resources for me personally as well as for my clients. And that Bellarmine connection plays a key role in that.
What advice do you have for Bellarmine alumni or students interested in pursuing your profession?
Think big. I was an Accounting major because my mom, grandfather and two uncles are all accountants. I thought I’d graduate with a degree, get a job, make a salary and that would be that. But what I realized is that I had the ability to create my own path, to use my degree as a foundation for business instead of the determining factor of what I was going to do.
What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
Our team was recently recognized as the leader among our peer group within Northwestern Mutual for the growth we’ve achieved the last few years. What I’m most proud of is that it’s not an individual award but rather an honor for our entire team. We’ve assembled a pretty incredible group of people in our office, and everyone plays a vital role. We’ve adopted the mantra that we’re all on the Train of Success. Some days you might feel like the engine. Other days you might be the caboose. But we’re all on the same train, and we’re all doing it together. Our entire Louisville office was also recognized as the Community Service Award winner for 2016 and given a $50,000 grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation—money that will directly impact local nonprofits seeking a cure for pediatric cancer.
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