Meet Caroline, a current Accelerated M.S. in Financial Planning student from Marietta, GA. Caroline will earn her Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Economics and her Master’s Degree in Financial Planning in 2018.  

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in financial planning at the University of Georgia?

I came in to UGA as an Accounting major, but I knew it wasn't for me. I knew I wanted to do something more people-oriented where I could meet with people on a daily basis and help people in such a practical way. When I found out that UGA had one of the best Financial Planning programs in the country, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Shortly after I changed my major to Financial Planning, I decided I wanted to pursue the Accelerated Master’s Program. I have learned so much from the faculty and other students in my program. I have greatly enjoyed the fact that the Accelerated Master’s Program has allowed me to take classes with many students who have worked in the Financial Planning industry and are very knowledgeable in the field.

What is your favorite class and why?

My favorite class has been Advanced Financial Counseling. It looks at Financial Planning not only as taxes and investing and retirement planning, but as a way to help your clients deal with the problems of life in a monetary way. We have learned about Financial Planning in a holistic way in order to meet the needs of our clients in every way, and not just based on one specific issue. We have also had the chance to meet with clients at the ASPIRE Clinic and help them with the financial troubles they are facing with the knowledge we have gained from our class.

What are your plans post-graduation? How do you think your degree in financial planning will help you to achieve those goals?

My plans post-graduation are to obtain my CFP certification, work for a fee-based Financial Planning firm in Atlanta or Nashville, and hopefully one day start my own practice. I know that my Master’s Degree in Financial Planning from UGA will set me up for success in these areas, and that the courses and faculty here will train me well for what is to come.

Tell us about your involvement in some of the extracurricular activities the department offers. 

I have had the opportunity at UGA to work in the ASPIRE Clinic. It is a clinic that offers services to people in the Athens area such as counseling services, financial services, nutrition, design, and legal services. Through the Financial Planning program, we are able to work in the financial services aspect of the clinic and help residents of Athens deal with their financial troubles for free. It provides help to many people in need of financial advice, and it helps us by giving us experience working with clients. I have learned so much through this experience, and I am so grateful for this rare opportunity. I plan to spend my entire summer working in the clinic helping those in need and gaining credit towards my degree.

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Tags: financial planning, aspire