Financial Planning reaches Boston and beyond

Financial Planning reaches Boston and beyond

Oct 19
Theresa Miller, Academic Advisor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

I accompanied eight students to the Financial Planning Association BE Conference in Boston last month. These students raised their own cash to represent the University of Illinois as interns at this, the largest national conference for financial planners in the U.S. The students worked registration tables, helped with attendance at sessions, and assisted attendees with finding things like lunch tables and general sessions.

But beyond those “duties” that these eight students participated in, these U of I Financial Planning students networked with some of the leaders in the field they want to join. They met people, talked about what it’s like to be a financial planner, interviewed with leading firms in the field, and attended receptions with different planners who want to help students enter their profession. As I watched and assisted these students, I was amazed by their professionalism, their willingness to go above and beyond to find the right type of job for them, and to learn more about what the field of financial planning entails. It was awesome to be a part of and something I was excited to see. 

These types of opportunities available to students like our financial planning students abound, but it takes students willing to take the leap and do the work to go to them. These students exemplified this, and used the opportunity to the fullest. That is what sets U of I students apart from their peers, and what employers see and want to hire.

At the end of the month, more than 60 students will go to Chicago for another networking opportunity made possible by students, Financial Planning Day. This annual event at the Illini Center in Chicago allows students in financial planning to meet leading financial planners in the Chicagoland area, and learn about what’s new in the field. This year, the subject of technology in financial planning takes center stage, and students will have a chance to meet more than 17 firms one-on-one through intensive networking called “speed dating.” Opportunities like these help students find their perfect job, and help employers in this growing field meet the next generation in financial planning. We are excited for what the future holds for these students and the ones who come after them.

More than 75 schools from more than 12 universities worked as interns at the FPA BE Conference in Boston, the largest gathering of financial planning professionals in the country.