MFAA non-executive director, Melissa Gielnik reflects on her award winning career
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a broker?
A: It actually runs in the family. My dad was a broker, and when I returned to Australia after two years living abroad I started to work for him while looking for a ‘real job’. I was in my mid-20s and simply fell in love with broking, helping the clients, and the amazing relationships I was forming. Needless to say, I never ended up getting that real job.
Q: What have been the highlights of your career to date?
A: In 2014, I became the first female in more than a decade to be recognised as the MFAA Mortgage Broker of the Year in their National Excellence Awards. Since then I have played a role in the MFAA’s Women in Business initiative, where I was able to showcase my work-life balance and share my story. That experience was definitely a highlight, along with becoming a member of the board of directors, whereby I am able to represent the average broker, like myself, especially at such a crucial time in our industry. The industry, the MFAA and my aggregator, AFG, have all been amazing supports in my 16-year business journey, helping me to achieve all my goals. Further, I believe that where there is opportunity to give back it’s important that we dedicate time outside our business to building the industry via the younger brokers coming through, and any other channels that suit our skill sets.
Q: What is your business philosophy and what inspired it?
A: I’ve always said, “We walk in your shoes”. We – the entire Smart Lending team – will only do for a client what we would do for ourselves if in their position. At all stages of our process, the client is at the forefront of our decision-making and service. It’s just part of my core values that I work and live by.
Q: If you had the MFAA’s CEO over for dinner, what would you serve?
A: I’ve been out to dinner many times with Mike, and I like him so I wouldn’t cook. It’s not my style at all, and cooking isn’t really in my strengths column! So we would eat out somewhere low-key with a good vibe.