More than Math: Financial Planning Academy 2023

Mizzou’s second class of Financial Planning Academy students learned valuable teamwork, personal and professional skills to foster their careers helping others succeed financially

Financial Planning Academy was held July 16-21 in partnership with Texas Tech University and the Charles Schwab Foundation. This collaboration between CAFNR and the Trulaske College of Business invited 17 rising sophomores, juniors and seniors to explore careers in personal financial planning through

teamwork and personal development.

This camp prepares students to approach finances through their client’s personal lens, rather than just as a set of numbers.

“In personal financial planning we talk about the person, their values and goals — their family,” said Andrew Zumwalt, associate teaching professor in the personal financial planning program. “So rather than serving a business entities’ balance sheet, you’re serving the individual.”

The campers heard from motivational and leadership related speakers, in addition to industry professionals, while being mentored by current Mizzou business or personal financial planning majors.

Christy Cook, a rising senior in personal financial planning, was eager to build personal relationships with the campers as they learned about the career she is so passionate about.

“Growing up I always liked money,” said Cook. “I was the kid who organized quarters by year. I also always liked math and working with people, and I considered going into accounting, but I didn’t like how impersonal that was. I wanted to form relationships with people while I guided them through financial decisions.”

While many of the students are not from an agricultural background, Cook also has had a positive experience being mentored by CAFNR staff.

“A lot of the CAFNR staff have experience working one-on-one with real people, rather than just businesses or entities.”

To apply the financial and personal skills they learned from both speakers and counselors, the campers work in teams to develop a financial plan for an imaginary couple: “Josh and Katherine,” that they then present to a panel of judges to compete for $500 in prize money. Not only do the students propose a plan for the couple’s finances, they also create a logo, app and social media pages for their team’s financial planning business.

“There’s a lot more that goes into it than I thought,” said Alice Carter, rising senior at Hickman High School, Columbia, Mo. “I’ve always been interested in math and numbers but didn’t know about the marketing aspect, which I’ve also really enjoyed.”

Carter was inspired to attend the academy by her parents, both Mizzou alumni, and her desire to begin learning about her own finances and to make wise financial decisions as she attends Mizzou next year. The unique camp experience not only taught her about campus life, but also about working environments outside of high school.

“This has been a great team building experience because unlike in school, where we all have to be there, everyone here has a common interest and a common goal, which really helps with motivation and work ethic,” said Carter.