DeShawn L Chapman

District Director


DeShawn Chapman - Career Changer

DeShawn graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. During the time of his graduation, the job market was strong and there were multiple opportunities available. Ultimately, he settled on moving to Austin, Tx, where he joined forces with Motorola. While there he found himself designing, manufacturing and testing computer chips that would be put into technological devices ranging from Nintendo to automobiles. He says, “It was neat to produce the chips that power gadgets you come across on a daily basis.” While with Motorola, he climbed the corporate ladder and eventually became the Director of Engineering during his last stint with the company.

His next business venture took him to Virginia where he began working for Infineon Technologies, which later became Qimonda. He once again found himself climbing the corporate ladder, becoming the Director of Technology. Unfortunately, however, after five years, the company declared bankruptcy. At that point, DeShawn’s career had taken an unlikely turn.

The business world had changed; you could no longer retire with a company that you had worked with for 30 years with a pension and a gold watch—that no longer existed. Companies had begun downsizing and restructuring, and there was no longer the stability and security in the corporate world that used to exist. DeShawn was faced with a new dilemma, but also the realization of new opportunities.

So he went back to the basics: “What is my purpose in life? Am I really using my gifts and passion to impact the world at large?”

DeShawn was introduced to Northwestern Mutual through a former colleague, and admitted that insurance was the furthest thing from his mind. After getting to know the company a little and becoming more and more impressed, he really became drawn to the idea of taking advantage of the opportunity before him and harnessing his entrepreneurial spirit to start his own practice. So, in 2010 DeShawn officially became a Financial Representative at The Virginia Group of Northwestern Mutual.

When asked about his favorite part of working with Northwestern, he refers to the “Three I’s”:

  1. Independence: You become your own boss, make your own schedule, develop your own individual marketing plan, and it is a self-directed business where you are able to push yourself as an individual.
  2. Income: What you get, is what you put into it. As with pretty much any sales job, your income potential is virtually unlimited.
  3. Impact: The impact you have on peoples’ lives can last for generations. You are helping put peoples’ children through college, preserving their hard-earned assets, and ensuring that families can continue after tragedy or perhaps the loss of a loved one.

“Although what I am doing today is completely different from my original career aspirations, I am still able to use many of the same skill sets that I practiced as an engineer.”

For example, he still utilizes his problem solving skills for every individual that he meets. Every family or person is unique with a unique situation; their definition of family and financial security are all different. He must identify the client’s needs and help with financial solutions that they can implement for a secure financial future.

Commenting on his transition to Northwestern, he considers it a fairly easy one because of these similarities; it is a systems approach. He says that the training and joint work opportunities available when he began working as a financial representative were extremely helpful.  Also, success came from simply following the system. Unlike engineering where the purpose is to reinvent and use creativity, in the life insurance industry there is a proven system; all you have to do is follow this system  and you will be successful—“It works.”

When asked about advice that he would give to people thinking about changing careers, he says: “Be open-minded; even though there may not appear to be a link to what you currently do, there are sure to be similar skills that you can utilize. My time here has been very rewarding and exhilarating, and I would never think about going back to engineering. Also, do not deny your entrepreneurial spirit, and believe in yourself. What better way to start than with Northwestern where you get top training and with amazing products already in place. Anyone can be successful in this industry, I am living proof.”

DeShawn’s Personal Achievements while at Northwestern Mutual:

 Pacesetter 40 (Produce 40 lives within the first 6 months)

Pacesetter 2nd60(Produce 60 lives within the second 6 months)

100 Lives Club (Produced over 100 lives within the first year) = Varsity Club Qualification

2011 Challenger of the Year

The Bronze Award  




Years of Experience

Representing Northwestern Mutual since 2010.


To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck