Words of wisdom to current members...
After changing my major to PFP almost halfway through undergrad, I quickly joined Red to Black. Although I didn't have much knowledge about financial planning or coaching at the time, the one thing I did have was an eagerness to learn and contribute to what the organization was doing. Red to Black helped me grow as a leader, develop financial counseling and counseling techniques, and allowed me to make a difference in the lives of others during my time at Texas Tech. Ultimately, these things were defining factors that helped me in receiving multiple job offers before graduation. I would recommend that all current or potential members find that willingness to learn and contribute, because Red to Black will use those qualities to help you succeed in your career and during your time at Texas Tech.
Serving with Red to Black during my time at Texas Tech was one of the highlights of my four years in Lubbock. Developing friendships and connections with my fellow PFP students is something I will always take with me. Being a part of Red to Black truly does set you apart from others when you enter the job market and I encourage you to take advantage of this fact. I will warn you; this blessing can become a curse if you do not take full advantage of it.
While my plans were to enter academia upon my graduation, life had a different plan. Now I am back in the industry and I am in a position where I will help pick someone to go through the financial advisor training program at my firm. My connection with students at Red to Black has given me a list of candidates that I want to work with. These are all students who I have developed relationships with and who I have observed working in Red to Black. These are students who have earned my trust and developed good reputations. Red to Black gives you an incredible opportunity to give you experience that in many cases is worth more than the degree hanging on the wall.
Red to Black is the pinnacle of the Personal Financial Planning program at Texas Tech. Red to Black offered me the opportunity to apply the concepts that are taught within the program in a real-world environment. It is by far the best opportunity to assist fellow students in their unique financial situations and implement the communication and coaching skills that are paramount within financial planning. I realized very early in the program that employers are less concerned with my technical ability than they were with my ability to communicate and relate to clients.
Red to Black also offered me the opportunity to meet many of my fellow PFP students as well. It is entirely possible to proceed through the program and only have contact with the cohort with whom you share classes. In Red to Black, I was able to work with many students throughout my time that I would have never met and developed lasting relationships. Overall, Red to Black was and continues to be an enriching experience.
As a member of Red to Black, I was able to surround myself with like-minded individuals who are passionate about the financial planning industry. This allowed me to strengthen my professional network and develop my skillset that will be directly applicable to the industry I am entering. For new Red to Black members, get more involved with Red to Black outside of your volunteer time! Reach out and network with Red to Black alumni, attend events, volunteer for additional outreach and just get as involved as you possibly can!
It is also beneficial knowing that the work we do at Red to Black has lasting effects on the student body at Texas Tech.
Mari Kate Northcut
My suggestion for current members is to take advantage of every opportunity to learn. If there is a last minute coaching session or presentation available, take it! Overall, Red to Black boosted my confidence, improved my public speaking abilities, allowed me to spread financial literacy to other students, and reaffirmed my decision to pursue financial planning. I have loved every minute being a part of this organization, and I cannot wait to see how it grows over the years!
I think it is most beneficial to be wholly invested in the department of PFP to the best of your ability. Whether it be joining Red to Black, PFP Ambassadors, or establishing friendships with classmates in each program level, determine the best ways to fully commit yourself to your studies. This will assuredly make your experiences as a student and as a graduate very prosperous!