Junior explores financial planning through virtual externship

August 12, 2020

Noah Fielding attends Financial Planning Association summer program

Noah Fielding Headshot

SAN ANTONIO – Noah Fielding, a junior in the BBA program, completed an eight-week virtual externship program this summer with the Financial Planning Association, a membership organization for finance practitioners.

Fielding participated in the FPA Virtual Externship program through the organization’s San Antonio chapter. The program is designed for aspiring financial planners and provides training in planning for investment, retirement, tax, estate, insurance and risk management. The program is conducted similar to a class, Fielding said, with each week focusing on one topic. Fielding and other externs interacted with dozens of industry experts throughout the program, who shared from their experiences in the field.

Fielding, who is pursuing a BBA with a double concentration in accounting and finance, was introduced to the program by Dr. Tim Griesdorn from the finance department. Among the key takeaways from the program, Fielding was introduced to the range of opportunities available in the field of financial planning.

“I think the biggest thing I learned is that I really want to be a financial planner,” Fielding said. “There are just so many different things you can do. If you want to be a financial planner but you don't want to do taxes, that's perfectly fine. You can just outsource someone to do taxes for your clients. Or if you don't want to manage their investment portfolio, you can do that.”

One of the concerns Fielding had going into the program was whether he would be able to dedicate the time needed to fully engage with the material. Despite his concerns, Fielding was able to spend 15-20 hours each week in the externship program while taking summer courses and working a job.

“If anyone is interested in financial planning, I would highly recommend doing this,” Fielding said. “It's very flexible. There's no set time when you have to log in. Even the live question-and-answer sessions are recorded. So if you work full-time or if you're going to school full-time, you'll still have time to do it.”

The program also provides participants with 160 hours of credit toward the Certified Financial Planner™ certification, which Fielding plans to complete after graduating from UIW. His goal is to offer financial planning services on a part-time basis while working full-time in forensic accounting.

“I love finance, but I love accounting, too. I talk to Dr. Griesdorn about it all the time and he always says it's two sides of the same coin,” Fielding said. “From what I heard in this externship, there are a lot of people that are part-time financial planners.”

Every day over the next two decades in the United States, roughly 10,000 people will turn 65 years old. With an increasing number of Americans nearing retirement age, this creates incredible career opportunities for students throughout the financial planning sector.

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at the H-E-B School of Business and Administration offers students two paths to choose from within the concentration: banking and financial planning. Additionally, HEBSBA offers graduate students a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance. Students are also encouraged to join the Student Managed Fund, where they can put into practice the skills learned in the classroom to develop an investment strategy for a portfolio managed by the University.