Sophia Spangler and Kristen Revis, students in Western Carolina University’s College of Business, are advancing to the national finals in a financial planning competition held by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants.
Open to undergraduate students who are enrolled in a financial services curriculum, teams undertake a fictional case narrative and from it craft a financial plan, which is judged for effectiveness and potential for success.
Spangler and Revis will present their plans virtually during a championship round to be held at the organization’s annual meeting on April 22 in Cincinnati.
“The Financial Plan Competition is challenging,” said Revis, an Asheville resident. “I dedicated many hours to preparing the plan. Researching topics and using books from all of my finance and accounting classes. It forces you to pull information from all previous and current finance courses. This competition has been instrumental in providing hands-on experience in real life scenarios.”
WCU’s Finance Program teaches students the art and science of money management. Career opportunities for graduates include financial planning, investment management, corporate finance, treasury management, investment banking, commercial banking, commercial real estate, risk management and insurance.
“Being a part of the competition has been difficult and eye-opening,” said Spangler, of Fayetteville. “Writing the case took a lot of time, from looking up different facts and specific limits to making sure that every section of the plan fit together and was feasible for the client. I feel like my being able to make it this far in the competition is a reflection of how effective our finance program is, just as much as my work on the case.”
Patrick Payne, WCU associate professor of finance and competition adviser, said the students have worked hard and even came to campus between semesters just to prepare their presentations.
“This is a prestigious competition,” he said. “There are routinely over 100 competitors from more than 60 different universities that compete each year. For two of the four finalists to be from WCU is a monumental personal achievement for these students, as well as a testament to the quality of education that WCU can provide.”