Michelle L Marquez – Surviving the Stock Exchange

posted by Chris Valentine

The stock exchange has a reputation for being a ruthless industry which has the ability to chew people up and spit them out again. This is the case in many areas of the stock exchange from arbitration to the fraud teams, the securities commission and of course the trading floor itself. Michelle L Marquez is a great friend of mine and once we had finished law school, she went on to work within the stock exchange, in the 1980s no less! Michelle is nearing the end of her career now and what she has done in being able to stay within this industry for so long is breathtaking, here is how she survived.

Not Buying In

Whilst it may not exist quite so much these days at it used to, the social scene around brokers and other employees within the stock exchange has a reputation for being rowdy and rambunctious. This was particularly rife in the 1980s at the general attitude which people within the stock exchange adopted was work hard and play hard. What Michelle saw in those early days however was that people who did this were able to party hard, but their work suffered as a result. This is why Michelle decided early on that whilst she would socialize occasionally, she would never go out on a work night. This is certainly something which contributed towards her longevity in the industry.


Within The Lines

Something else which caused many issues for a great number of people within the stock exchange was not staying within the rules of the job and there were many people who ended up losing jobs because of foul play. It was Michelle’s dream to work within the stock exchange and that is why she never veered from the rules or colored outside the lines. Michelle has always been proud of her integrity and this is also why she was able to last so long here.



It was difficult for Michelle to make friends in the early days with her team because there was a significant lack of women in the stock exchange. Over the years however Michelle was able to forge important contacts in many different groups across the spectrum of the stock exchange and these have proven to be important people to who she could confide and who she could ask for advice. These contacts also proved to be very important in asking for help and favors and she also attributes this as the keys to her longevity.


Thick Skin

Michelle often says that in order to survive in the stock exchange you must have thick skin and the way that people work and act in the stock exchange is most certainly not for everyone. Michelle could take the criticism and the harsh language and without the ability to do that she believes that the industry would have swallowed her up long ago.


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