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It’s one thing to sit in a classroom studying financial planning, but what if undergraduates had the chance to spend three days networking with thousands of registered investment advisors while also learning from some of the financial services industry’s leading thinkers?

David Bonkowski (left) and Maia Greer. Photo compliments of LILA PHOTO for TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Olivet College students Maia Greer and David Bonkowski were two of 50 financial planning students from 25 colleges and universities who attended the TD Ameritrade Institutional annual investment advisor conference, National LINC 2017, recently in San Diego, California, along with more than 3,200 financial advisors and other financial services industry professionals. While at National LINC 2017, the students had the opportunity to connect with industry experts from across the nation and explore job opportunities.

TD Ameritrade Institutional is a leading provider of brokerage custody, technology and practice management services for more than 5,000 independent registered investment advisors (RIAs). As part of a long commitment to cultivate the next generation of advisors, TD Ameritrade Institutional has invited students from colleges and universities to attend its annual RIA conference since 2010, a valuable opportunity to connect with peers, network with some of the country’s top investment advisors and learn about the latest trends.

“This conference is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with financial professionals and create networking that can lead to internships and career opportunities,” said Areerat Lertchaipitak, Olivet College assistant professor of business, who accompanied the students as their advisor to the conference. “I appreciate that TD Ameritrade understands and values the next generation of financial professionals.”

At this year’s conference, students heard from David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Salim Ismail, chair and co-founder of ExO Works; Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink; Keren Elzari, former hacker turned cybersecurity expert; and Tim Hockey, president and CEO of TD Ameritrade. They also participated in breakout sessions and panel discussions, and attended networking events.

Including this latest conference, TD Ameritrade Institutional has engaged with more than 200 students through its conference program, several of which have been students from Olivet College.

Broader Commitment

The student program at National LINC is one component of a broader commitment by TD Ameritrade Institutional to help attract young professionals to financial planning. In July, TD Ameritrade will announce its fifth annual NextGen Financial Planning Scholarship & Grant winners: $5,000 scholarships to 12 undergraduate students, a $50,000 grant to an established degree program and $25,000 to an emerging program. Senior Blane Heisler was awarded the scholarship in 2016.

Applications will be accepted from April 3 – May 31, 2017. View the application and learn more about the NextGen Scholarship & Grant Program.

Olivet College’s financial planning major prepares students for careers helping others plan for their financial security. As part of the program, students gain practical experience preparing and presenting a financial plan, as well as preparing for the life and health insurance agents’ licensing examination administered by the state of Michigan. Learn more about the financial planning major at Olivet College.

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