During her junior year at Virginia Commonwealth University, Michelle Orellana came across a seasonal tax-preparation job on the campus-wide hiring board. The accounting and finance major had of course learned about tax in class, but it wasn’t until she inquired about the role – which she wound up landing, here at Verus – did she realize just how much she enjoyed the field. “I fell in love with tax work when I came to Verus. Believe it or not, I actually look forward to doing tax returns,” she says with a laugh.

During college, she worked as a bank teller, and learned about the many financial services and products available to people to help them plan for their futures. Between the bank and Verus, she came to a realization that financial planning is not just numbers, but truly about helping other people. “My experiences helped shape my career path in financial planning and tax,” she says. “Personal finance is something I am extremely passionate about.”

Her love of serving others is a cultural fit at Verus, where Michelle helps advisors build financial plans, analyze portfolios, and assist with tax research and preparation. “I didn’t want to work for a place where I clock in and out, and I feel like Verus is a company where we can work hard but also take time and share about our lives and families,” says Michelle, who has her eye on gaining her Series 65 to become an Investment Adviser Representative.

Originally from Los Angeles, Michelle’s father’s job brought her to Richmond when she was young – and she loves calling RVA home these days. When the weather is warm, you may find Michelle on the rocks or hiking around Belle Isle. Year-round, she enjoys Richmond’s restaurant and cultural scene, and, indeed, loves keeping on top of new trends in the world of personal finance.