Texas Tech University

Journey to Excellence: Personal Financial Planning

PART I: Opportunity Days

Texas Tech's Personal Financial Planning Opportunity Days

The Department of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) held its annual Opportunity Days  event for students, alumni, and friends of the program Feb. 21-23 in the College of Human Sciences and Overton Hotel.

Opportunity Days allow PFP alumni and industry professionals to explore Texas Tech University's campus by connecting with top-rated PFP students in the nation. Employers are invited to conduct interviews with students, connecting with them in a variety of events including Casino Night, speed networking events, and other sponsored events like the awards banquet.

Texas Tech's Personal Financial Planning Opportunity DaysEvents are designed to provide company representatives with the unique opportunity to invest in the future of financial planning through conversations with current students.

Personal Financial Planning Department Chair Vickie Hampton, Ph.D., CFP® says that Opportunity Days carries the long-standing tradition of assisting students in acquiring both internships and career positions while contributing to the financial planning profession as a whole.

"It is exciting to talk with students during and after Opportunity Days," Dr. Hampton said. "They tell us how much they learned from the financial advisors and alumni who come to campus for this event, and they are so thrilled to talk about who they networked with during the week."

The week's events come to a close with the awards banquet, celebrating the achievements of students, faculty, alumni and friends for their contributions to the field.

Personal Financial Planning Associate Professor and Associate Academic Dean for Students Mitzi Lauderdale, J.D., CFP® says Opportunity Days evolved from a student awards banquet, nearly 20 years ago.

"Today we celebrate the outstanding students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the program for all of their accomplishments," Mitzi said.

Texas Tech's Personal Financial Planning Opportunity DaysMitzi was honored with the Personal Financial Planning Association (PFPA) Instructor of the Year Award, something she says provides the reassurance that efforts to reach her students through mentorship truly can make a profound difference.

"I cannot imagine a more meaningful teaching award than one selected by my own students. Making a difference in the lives of our students is why I chose to teach," Mitzi said. "I say thank you to the students first, because they make my job extremely rewarding."

Alumni Awards
Young Guns Award
Jacob Sybrowsky
Distinguished Alumni Award
John Salter
William A. "Bill" Gustafson Distinguished Leadership Award
John Hopkins

Department Awards
PFPA Instructor of the Year Award
Mitzi Lauderdale

Student Awards
Jason McGarraugh Leadership Award
Jacob Tenney
FJY Financial Scholarship
Jacob Gurock
West Texas FPA Scholarships
Lauren Winkelman
Kim Diemer
PFI Instructor of the Year Award
Jacob Tenney
Gene Lawrence Big Heart Award
Lauren Winkelman

Having grown to one of the nation's top destinations for personal financial planning, Dr. Hampton says the secret to success is developing students with a great work ethic instilled in them every step of the way. This instilment has created a reputation for Texas Tech University to produce valuable graduates that the nation's financial planners hire without a moment's hesitation.

Click here to view photos from the Opportunity Days Awards Banquet.

Read Part 2 of Journey to Excellence

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