I recently attended a career fair at Kutztown University on behalf of Haas Financial Group. The event was hosted by KU’s Career Development Center for soon-to-be college grads. As I was walking into the student center, I started to reminisce back to my junior and senior years of college at Duquesne – wondering where I was going to land following graduation. So much uncertainty, so much unknown. But somehow when you are younger, change feels easier. You still have your whole life ahead of you. Plus, change happens often at that age, so it almost feels like the norm. Back then there was also less pressure to have it all figured out, the expectation of providing for others, and fewer life obligations. But that doesn’t mean that I lacked goals and aspirations for my future, even if I couldn’t imagine the full journey.
Seeing the students filter into the room, a little nervous, a little awkward, you could sense their thoughts were similar to mine 15 years ago. Even though they were energized and terrified all at the same time, they showed up – and that was the most important thing. All I kept thinking was, I’m feeling the same way! If only they knew that having to network with a bunch of people close to half my age, while being on the unfamiliar side (the employer side of the table) caused some anxiety for me too. I’m used to being one of the youngest people in the room and now I was their senior. So, the Haas Financial Group pitch went like this: we want to mentor you! Because lifelong learning, practicing new and old skills, and creating something that changes someone’s life in a positive way is why we are here.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Social Media and Psychology majors. The Psychology majors intrigued me, and I was hoping I could influence their career search into personal finance. Because at Haas Financial Group, we also believe in starting the planning process with how people think and feel about money. We seek to understand how people’s experiences impact their decisions and also to learn who holds influence over those choices. Psychology, particularly studied by a young person, could bring a different perspective and add value to the financial planning industry. I guess I need to brush up on my selling skills because I couldn’t get any of the three Psychology majors to bite on the mentorship offer.
One observation of mine was that 80% of the students that I spoke with were males. This statistic is in-line with the current national demographics for CFP’s. Only 23% of CFP’s are women-1. Also, the female students that I spoke with were not majoring in Finance. Industry demographics can and probably will change over time. Haas Financial Group wishes to foster a space for the next generation of ambitious personal financial planners (or for anyone really), as long as they are willing to learn. Our lives are always a work in progress. So, be a sponge, thrive on change, stay inspired, and move forward. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the mentors in my life. We are here to guide you down the path of the unknown and to achieve those goals together, whether it’s starting a business, building wealth, volunteering, starting a new career, or living a healthy lifestyle. Because the unknowns could very well be what you’ve been envisioning for yourself all along.
By: Devon Volker
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