Around a year into his education at the University of Missouri, Dalton Shust was still in search of the perfect degree program. Shust had transferred to Mizzou after spending a year playing basketball at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis.
Shust randomly ran into an old high school friend one day on the Mizzou campus as he was still figuring out which degree would fit his interest areas. A brief discussion led Shust to the personal financial planning degree program.
“I was studying pre-med while in St. Louis, and my GPA was suffering a bit as I was trying to juggle basketball and in-depth science courses,” Shust said. “I knew I needed a change, and I also realized that something related to science wasn’t the path I wanted to be on. My friend had been in a similar situation a year earlier and suggested that I look into personal financial planning at Mizzou. I had always enjoyed business, numbers and that type of work. The program definitely fit what I was interested in.”
Shust was already familiar with MU before transferring, as his older siblings had earned degrees from Mizzou and he had applied and been accepted to the university right out of high school. Shust, who grew up in Washington, Mo., spent time on campus when he was younger, too, participating in numerous basketball camps and watching the Tiger basketball team.
“The transfer process was good overall,” Shust said. “I was really fortunate that all of my credits transferred over so I didn’t lose a year of education. Plus, my general education courses were pretty much all done so I could jump right into courses that I was really interested in.”
Shust said the faculty within the degree program have been phenomenal to work with. He added that as a smaller program, it allowed him to build deeper connections with the faculty, staff and fellow students.
“Personal financial planning is such a strong program, and I honestly think it gets overlooked a bit,” Shust said. “I really enjoyed the ratio of teachers to students. In my capstone, for example, it’s just me and three other students. It almost feels like a doctorate program with its size.
“I’ve had great one-on-one conversations with the faculty on multiple occasions. Everyone knows their stuff; it’s such a strong group. They’re incredibly helpful with more than just my coursework, too. If I have a life question they’re more than happy to lend their advice.”
While Shust said he wasn’t actively involved in many clubs or organizations, he was very active at the MU Student Rec Complex. He said he was in the rec at least six days a week.
“I definitely got my fair share of use out of the rec,” Shust said. “It’s such a nice facility and a great resource. I loved being able to work out and jump into pick-up basketball games when I could.”
As Shust finishes his personal financial planning degree, he said he is planning on taking a gap year after graduation. During that year, he said he is planning on working as a broker, to provide others services in various areas, such as investing, loans and real estate.
“I really want to get that person-to-person contact,” Shust said. “I’m excited to start a new chapter.”
Shust added that he is interested in studying law after his gap year. One of his brothers just passed the bar and is working as a lawyer. Shust said his brother’s experience has influenced him to branch out a bit.
“I really like a challenge,” Shust said. “I originally picked medicine because I wanted to help people, and I think that’s what I see myself doing with law as well.
“At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be able to pursue these interest areas without the education I received at Mizzou. I’m so glad that I ended up here – it was the best place for me. There’s really not much I would change. I owe a lot to the personal financial planning degree program, too. It’s such a great program that shouldn’t be overlooked.”