In celebration of National Intern Day, the team went bowling as a final send-off to our summer intern, Zenaida Gonzales. We have been fortunate to have Zenaida on our team this summer, and her work with our firm reinforces the “why” behind internship programs. In its most effective form, an internship is a symbiotic relationship, featuring both mentorship and reverse mentorship. An intern gains insight into the value of her future work, and the firm gains fresh exposure to the tools, technology, and approaches being taught to the younger generations, while both sides are reminded of the experience and technical expertise required to be a truly effective wealth planner.
The wealth management industry is in dire need of a clear path for newcomers to gain access, education, and mentorship in developing a long-term career. I wrote about this recently on LinkedIn, specifically highlighting the reasons that fewer women are attracted to careers in wealth management, but the issues are really the same for anyone starting out in this career. Unlike the medical or legal professions which have standardized programs to both attract and educate newcomers, the financial services industry has a vast chasm between the “training programs” of the large wirehouses and brokerage firms – often focused on sales, and the boutique independent firms which offer truly personalized and tailored services.
For the last two years, we have met our interns through Texas Tech’s Personal Financial Planning program. One of the most well-known and well-respected in the country, this program intentionally pairs students with wealth management firms as part of its curriculum. Given the growing need for wealth planning services in our country and the extraordinary number of current advisors expected to retire over the next 10-15 years, we are pleased that more and more universities are offering high-quality programs to develop a new generation of advisors, undoubtedly more focused on using technology and personal service than the product sales practices taught to previous generations.
The benefits of a wealth management internship are clear – we just need more of them. Internships provide students an important view into what a wealth management career looks like - from the intricate details of a bespoke financial plan, to the stress of the financial markets, and the confidence required to provide a superb experience to clients on their financial journey. Internships also provide an opportunity for the wealth management industry to provide what our country needs – a brand new generation of advisors who use transparency and clarity to help their clients build a successful financial plan.
Thank you, Zenaida, for your contributions to our firm, and we wish you great success in your senior year!
To learn about opportunities on our team, please email us at email@example.com.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.