It was the early summer of 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic devouring every business her routine, Hannah Moore, an action-oriented financial her planner in Richardson, Texas, was feeling uneasy. Advisory, which confirmed internships of great importance to students pursuing careers in financial planning, withdrew invitations one after another.
In some ways, the loss of the internship, though a minor change compared to the economic chaos, was one of the things Moore was determined to do something about. As such, Moore reconceptualized the concept of an internship in a virtual world.
The resulting virtual internship is an eight-week learning experience covering eight financial planning topics, offering students an experience comparable to the all-important financial planning internships students were denied due to the pandemic. It is designed to
It quickly became apparent that this program met a real need. Over 1,950 people signed up for the first offering.
Moore expected most of the registrants to be traditional college students. But surprisingly, many were career changers for him. Financial Careers He is interested in moving into planning and is more mature people working in other professions. With so many people working from home, this course provided a path for these people to achieve their dreams.
throw away assumptions
Moore began conceptualizing virtual externships by discarding all assumptions about what a financial planning internship should be. “We reimagined the whole experience,” she says. In traditional internships, students usually experience her one company. The Externship publishes her 25 recommendations to participants. Each week, attendees are introduced to her three expert her advisors who share their workflows and real-world deliverables. Students watch life simulations of various processes and are tested regularly to ensure they understand the basic concepts in eight areas, including retirement planning, insurance and risk management, and tax and wealth planning. .
That said, developing technical skills is only part of the process. A Virtual Externship asks participants to tackle the bigger question. Is financial planning the career I want? Can I be passionate about it? As a career changer, is financial planning the right path for me? And the biggest question: Aside from what you learn in textbooks, how does financial planning really work and what does it actually look like?
For Stephen Schiestel, professor of finance at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, Virtual Externship was a godsend in helping students fill gaps in their resumes caused by the pandemic. And as a co-owner of Michigan’s independent advisory body, Schiestel has seen first-hand the benefits of recruits who complete the program.
“We had a young staff member join us just before COVID hit. He attended The Virtual Externship and was able to see how this program can be transformative from both an educator and an employer’s perspective. says Schiestel. “It’s still important for finance students to get a third-year internship, but if for some reason it doesn’t work out, an externship is a great alternative.”
Extensive industry support
Externship quickly gained the endorsement of big names in the financial planning industry. Sponsors include Charles Schwab, The CFP Board, eMoney, Kaplan, Morningstar, XY Planning Network, Redtail, Income Lab and LPL. Sponsors enrich the externship experience in many ways. For example, the CFP board gives a participant who completes the program his 180 hours of experience, and the eMoney Advisor awards his eMoney certification.
Schwab sees The Virtual Externship as aligned with its long-term commitment to growing the RIA industry and cultivating the talent pipeline it needs to better serve its diverse population. Her Sherri Trombley, Director of Business Her Consulting and Education at Schwab Advisor Services said: “We are always looking for ways to reach students and job seekers.”
Road to more expression
Perhaps the most important benefit of The Virtual Externship is that it promotes professional diversity that desperately needs participation from underrepresented groups. This program provides an important tool to help advisors revitalize their talent pipeline. This is especially useful for attracting talent from historically marginalized populations.
Traditional internships are not possible for many members of the underrepresented group because they cannot afford to give up the day jobs they depend on. This program not only allows them to keep a job for the day, but also provides an entry point for those who cannot afford to live in the cities where internships are usually offered. The program provides an entry point for many people who were effectively barred from the profession.
The 2022 Externs demographic provides a picture of a more diverse group (at least by the standards of the financial planning industry), identifying more than 40% as female, with 11% and 10% respectively black. and identified as Hispanic.
Moore believes the limits of The Virtual Externship are limitless. “I see this as a career-changing program, thanks to the way we train, educate, and encourage more financial her planners to enter the profession,” she says. “It provides a framework for the successful people the industry needs to thrive in the future.”