ACE Financial Planning Day leads to networking and new opportunities for students
Financial Planning Club President Harley Tobon and Director of the FInancial Planning Program Craig Lemoine at the 3rd annual ACE Financial Planning Day on Dec. 6, 2019.
Photo by Jim Baltz.
January 6, 2020

The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) hosted its third annual Financial Planning Day on December 6, 2019. Students in the ACE Financial Planning concentration and those interested in financial planning and consumer economics all across campus were invited to participate in the all-day event.

The day began with an interview clinic sponsored by Raymond James Advisors. At this clinic, students received valuable interviewing insights from financial planning practitioners and career development experts. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions to the professional panel and receive individuals’ perspectives on best practices while interviewing. This clinic was great preparation for the speed round interviews with companies later that afternoon.

Over 150 students and more than 30 partner firms were in attendance. Students had the opportunity to schedule 15-minutes speed interviews, with about 3-5 companies per student. The speed round interviews allowed partnering firms to share their company’s mission and related topics with interested students. Many students felt confident about their time spent with the companies and are looking forward to the next steps in the hiring process. This environment allowed students to mingle with the professionals, compare and contrast the different values of each firm, and create professional relationships without the full pressures of a formal interview.

A notable portion of attendees were freshman and sophomore undergraduate students. Traditionally, career fairs and networking events such as these are intended for upperclassmen. Financial Planning day is welcoming to all grades from undergraduate to graduate students due to the demand for highly motivated individuals rather than technic and academic strengths. The interviewing firms were well established and growing with a variety of positions from internships to full-time placements for the right candidates.

Financial Planning Day was filled with professional growth supported with networking with a fantastic selection of firms. Following the clinic and interviews, the Financial Planning Club (FPC), an RSO on campus, hosted a happy hour at a local brewery, Triptych Brewing.

To end the night, there was a banquet sponsored by Mariner Wealth Advisors, Money Concepts, and Strategic Financial Group. Craig Lemoine, Financial Planning program director and associate professor in ACE, presented multiple awards to students, as well as a new scholarship for women and underrepresented populations within financial planning. This single scholarship paved the way for four other generous donors to match the scholarship.

I have attended Financial Planning day since my sophomore year. It was my first professional event, and it led to my first internship in consumer finance, which has now propelled me forward to more broadened fields. Now I am a senior and president of the Financial Planning Club. I work to empower the younger students just as the leaders did for me years ago. This event allows students to connect to the profession and evolve their drive. I look forward to coming back to the Financial Planning Day for years to come as a professional and mentor to give the same insights and opportunities that firms have given to our students thus far.