After traveling the globe, Karina found her calling much closer to home when she joined us in our Morristown, NJ office in October 2018. As an associate adviser, Karina assists our wealth managers with client meetings and support. Her “techie” background comes in handy as well for maintaining our client relationship software, and streamlining processes and procedures. Karina also is helping to soon kick off our Young Professionals program, providing younger individuals (like herself!) with lifelong financial planning and portfolio management.
Upon graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Karina joined Johnson & Johnson’s internal auditing group in 2008, conducting worldwide internal audits and compliance reviews. Once she determined her professional passion was to be a financial planner, she transitioned her career accordingly, first as a financial advisor for a nationwide insurance company and, now, here with us.
Karina is currently studying to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL™ practitioner. She spends the rest of her free time on three primary passions: her human family (Mom, Dad and boyfriend), her puppy Bailey, and preparing tasty meals. Having immigrated from Peru when she was 7 years old, she grew up in Mahwah and now lives in Wayne, NJ. She still enjoys Peruvian cuisine, but she also has a soft spot for Italian. And (of course) chocolate.
When I was 7 years old, my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. from Peru. I’ve been traveling ever since. In high school, I participated in the American Music Abroad program, playing the clarinet; we spent a month one summer performing all across western Europe. After graduating from Penn State, I joined Johnson & Johnson’s internal audit division, visiting nearly 40 countries during my six-year tenure.
South Africa was one of my favorite assignments. I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, and also visiting a national park where I got to see big game wildlife like rhinos and elephants, up close and personal. For an animal lover like me, it was a powerful experience. The lions were close enough to jump into our vehicle; I’m very glad they did not.
My family is very important to me too. I love spending time with my mom, dad and cousins. Plus, I’m now a godmother to one of my cousin’s daughters and one of my uncle’s daughters. My boyfriend Dan and I are raising Bailey, a black-lab mix we adopted from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. We knew it was fate when we met her: Her shelter name was Carina – almost the same as mine! She jumped right into my lap, and we were done for.
I am an only child, and neither my parents nor I spoke much English when we arrived here. In Peru, I was in accelerated math classes. Here, I had to start from scratch with my ABCs, and take on a lot of early responsibilities. After college, I reached out to a financial planner to help me tackle my student debt. I not only learned how to manage my own budget, I helped my parents fix a few financial loose ends as well. That felt so good, over time, I realized I wanted to help others in the same way.
I’m into photography, especially family portraits, and street photography when I travel. Also, Dan and I have been having fun cooking lately. I think we’ve prepared about 50 Blue Apron meals together so far. It’s too bad they don’t have the set-up for my favorite Peruvian dish, tallarines verdes, a pesto pasta with steak. At least not yet.