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©LILA PHOTO for TD Ameritrade Institutional

This spring, two Olivet College students hit the national scene at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s annual investment adviser conference, National LINC 2019. Junior Andrew Todd and senior Maia Greer attended the three-day conference in San Diego, including chances 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 advisers (RIAs). As part of a long commitment to cultivate the next generation of advisers, 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 advisers and learn about the latest trends.

“This conference was very beneficial to our students in terms of career preparation, networking, job finding and industry exposure,” said Eakamon Oumtrakool, Ph.D., assistant professor of business administration. “Students learned and practiced elevator speeches, a great tool to have for job interviews and networking, and had a chance to complete a strength finder, which helps them identify the career path that matches with their characteristics. They also interacted with financial advisers to ask for career advice, interview for internships and job positions, and network. Our students also connected with fellow financial planning students, making new friends in the same profession.”

Andrew is a double major in financial planning and insurance and risk management with a goal of becoming a commercial property underwriter. The experience to attend the National LINC conference reminded Andrew how fascinating financial planning can be.

“The conference was positively amazing,” Andrew exclaimed. “TD Ameritrade was able to arrange many extremely successful people to attend this event. For example, one event consisted of a Q&A panel with the CEO/founders of Whole Foods, SoulCycle, Tesla Inc. and TD Ameritrade. Another event was a Q&A session with Robert Herjavec from the TV show ‘Shark Tank.’ But my absolute favorite part of the conference was a presentation by the photographer known as Platon who specializes in photographing world leaders.”

Maia, who attended the conference for the second time this year, echoed Andrew’s praise of Robert Herjavec. She has her sights set on becoming a financial planner after graduation, and without opportunities like National LINC, Maia knows she would never be able to learn from and network with such a broad range of financial planning professionals.

“The National LINC conference gave me the opportunity to develop my classroom skills, gave me a look at the technology being used in the industry and most importantly, the chance to network with current advisers to gain knowledge and connections,” Maia said. “I think going twice was extremely helpful. The second time around I was more confident in myself and more prepared to speak with new individuals.”

Beyond just networking, Andrew says the chance to attend the conference has changed his outlook on the financial planning industry, too.

“The conference exposed me to the depth of the financial planning industry,” Andrew explained. “Being at a conference with 3,000 financial planners from around the country really opened my eyes to how prevalent the industry is, which is something I wasn’t entirely aware of coming from a family who has never used or thought about using a financial planner. “The conference also showed me how technologically advanced the industry is becoming — there was an entire section related to innovative new products and software that financial planners may use in the near future. Overall, it was an experience that taught me a lot about real-world financial planning and gave me a snapshot of where the industry is heading going forward.”

And in true Olivet fashion, the opportunity to attend the trip reinforced the College’s relationship-based education model for both students.

“It was great to travel and spend time with a professor and fellow student in a new setting,” Maia said. “You get to learn so much about them while outside of a classroom. Andrew and I did everything together so it was really nice to build a relationship there.”

For Andrew, building stronger relationships with Maia and Professor Oumtrakool were highlights of the trip, in addition to dining at new, unique restaurants and visiting the San Diego Zoo.

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 by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

 

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