Why I Volunteer: Kansas State University

By Marc C. Shaffer

Kansas State University was the place I found my calling as a financial planner, and I have tried to stay as active as I can with the university in order to give back. And of course, I love cheering on the Cats any chance I can get!

I am the past president of the Human Ecology Alumni Advisory Board for K-State and am nearing the end of my term as president for the Kansas State University Personal Financial Planning Advisory Board. I also serve on the Kansas City K-State Alumni Planning Committee. Meeting the next generation of financial planners is very rewarding, and our program is continually growing and reaching new goals to produce thoughtful, educated financial professionals.

PFP Photo 1When I attended K-State, personal financial planning was just a program option in the Family Studies and Human Services department within the College of Human Ecology. I started out in the Finance and Accounting majors in the College of Business until a mentor mentioned that financial planning was available in another college.

Recently, the program officially became a department within the recently renamed College of Health and Human Sciences. This is a huge step forward in gaining national recognition for our program and attracting new students to the profession. I’m also proud that the Program continues to be listed as one of the top in the country by industry leading periodicals.

Publicity and demand from the industry has made financial planning a more popular option as a career path. In the past, hardly any students start out as freshman on a path toward financial planning. They would usually discover it after learning more about the programs K-State offered. Now that our program is growing, many students are choosing this path from the beginning, which allows more time to meet people within the industry, learn from internships, and take additional classes to strengthen their future.

I am proud to announce that we are now awarding scholarships for students entering the program.

One of the best parts of the financial planning program is that an internship is now required to graduate. Students need the experience in a firm to really understand what it takes to become a financial planner and grow from the opportunity to work with practicing advisors. My firm has had an official internship program since 2012, and we have enjoyed the opportunity to host students from several universities and expose them to the industry. It also led us to hire Ryan Brooke following his internship in 2014 and after five years of learning and leadership, we promoted him to a partner in the firm.

PFP Photo 2Students also get real life experience through Powercat Financial, a group of trained peer counselors that provide financial counseling to fellow students. This is such a fun opportunity for students to practice what they hope to do in the real world. It also allows the students to gain exposure to the softer skills associated with financial planning.

I credit K-State in developing my career path and am proud to see that the program continues to grow and thrive into one of the best in the country. It is my hope that by being involved with the Board that I can assist in preparing the future generation of planners to do great work for the families they serve. I hope that a few of those planners will one day join our team at Searcy Financial Services. Go CATS!

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Published for the blog on April 27, 2020 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.