Financial planning students interested in competing for both money and hands-on interaction with professional firms now have an outlet: the newly-created UGA Financial Planning Challenge.
Modeled after the national competition by the same name, the UGA Financial Planning Challenge will allow up to 12 students to compete as members of three-person teams. Four teams will present both a written and oral financial plan for a fictitious client for a panel of judges chosen from the financial planning field.
Mentors from three sponsoring firms, SignatureFD, Homrich Berg and Northwestern Mutual Goodwin Wright, will provide feedback and guidance throughout the competition.
“It’s a great way for local firms and students to interact in a less formal setting,” said Lance Palmer, associate professor in the FACS financial planning, housing and consumer economics department. “We think it’s a great way to both enhance the experience of the undergraduate students as well as create greater connections between students and alumni and the firms they’ll likely be working for as graduates.”
The teams, selected by FHCE faculty, will be announced at the Student Financial Planning banquet on Jan. 29. The written portion of the competition, which will include a comprehensive financial plan for the fictitious client, will be due March 27.
Winners will be announced following the oral portion of the contest on April 16. First place winners receive $750 that will be available for use to attend a national or regional professional conference; second place winners receive $500 and third place team members will receive $250.
Regional financial planners and academics from outside UGA will serve as judges for the competition. Graduate students from the department also will help coach and mentor the teams.
Palmer said he estimates teams can expect to spend anywhere from 50-100 hours preparing for the competition.
“It’s definitely a big commitment they’re going to have to make,” he said.
Students who are interested in participating should contact Palmer.
“These students are going to be able to go to these (firms’) offices, meet with their mentors and really get professional feedback on not just their plan, but undoubtedly ancillary feedback about career paths and professional experience,” Palmer said. “It’s a great way for students to really get to know some very important individuals at these firms.”
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