May 14, 2008
Three seniors from Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business made history recently when they earned two first place trophies at the National Collegiate Financial Planning Invitational, sponsored by Ameriprise Financial. It was the first time in the competition’s history that one team walked away with two top awards.
The team of Christopher Wysong, Samantha Blue and Brent Palser, all financial services majors, were among only eight teams who qualified to participate in the competition, from more than 120 colleges and universities from around the country eligible to vie for a spot at the invitational. Team advisor was Bill Wood, CFP, and the coordinator of WSU’s financial services degree program.
To be selected to compete in the invitational was an honor all its own. The team had to prepare a comprehensive financial plan without the aide of professional software, and then submit it to a panel of judges composed of respected professional financial planners from all over the country.
In addition to the case preparation assignment, the invitational also judged each team on their presentation skills and their general financial planning knowledge, through an event modeled after the game show "Jeopardy."
The WSU team placed first in both the case preparation and knowledge categories, and second place in case presentation.
The case presentation component of the invitational consisted of giving each team a case that incorporated a last minute “twist,” requiring the team to modify their plan on-site and then prepare a presentation that included this new development. A panel of industry judges scored the presentation on content, clarity and quality of advice.
In the final phase of the competition, teams played a Jeopardy-like knowledge game answering point-value questions in the areas of estate planning, investment planning, retirement planning, protection planning, tax planning and fundamentals.
Other finalist schools selected to participate in the two-day competition, which was held in Minneapolis on April 24-25, included the University of Georgia, Mississippi State University, Kansas State University, Virginia Tech University, Slippery Rock University, Appalachian State University, and Fort Hayes State University.
“Countless hours were spent preparing the written plan, practicing the presentation and reviewing for the Jeopardy game,” said Palser. “Bringing home this win speaks volumes about the quality education at Wright State. Also, many thanks to our a advisor, Bill Wood, for his hours of dedication to this project. Under his direction, I believe there are many more national champions in the future for Wright State.”
Added Blue, “This was an amazing experience. It shows that WSU has an outstanding program that can complete with any program in the country. Professors at Wright Sate really care about their students.”
For their efforts, each student received a cash award of $500, study materials for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Comprehensive Exam, and a scholarship from the College for Financial Planning for a CFP review course. In addition, the Raj Soin College of Business, Department of Finance and Financial Services, received a $10,000 scholarship award.
Christopher Wysong is from Beavercreek.
Brent Palser is from Greenville.
Samatha Blue is from Urbana.