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Career Center

Sam Honey

K-State graduation year: 2014
Degree: B.S. Personal Financial Planning
Current employer: Plancorp, LLC
Position: Financial Planning Associate

How many times, if any, did you change your major during college?

I think I had five different majors by the end of college

Describe the process of choosing your major.

I, unfortunately, started out exploring majors that I thought sounded cool. Maybe I liked the idea of studying a certain topic, but when it came to the coursework, I definitely didn't enjoy it. I eventually met a PhD student in the PFP program, and they persuaded me to meet with a few professors to discuss the major.

What activities/organizations were you involved in while in college?
  • PowerCat Financial Counseling
  • Personal Financial Planning student group
Did you complete an internship or have related work experience prior to receiving your job?

My final semester of college, I completed an internship with a local company. I had reached out to them several months earlier about positions, but they weren't looking at the time. Later on, we reconnected through a professor. The job helped me to gain exposure to the field and figure out what kind of work I wanted to do. 

Describe the process of finding your first job.

I had networked with a guy who helped place college graduates with financial planning firms. I went through his process and he introduced me to the firm I'm at today. I had several phone interviews with the company and then drove out to St. Louis for a day full of interviews. Once I completed the process, it took 1-2 weeks; I had several interviews with my current firm after that and then a job offer two weeks later.

Briefly describe a typical day at your job.

My workday is heavily influenced by client interaction. I come into work, look at my calendar at upcoming meetings, and then start pulling all the information and analyses together. In addition to meetings, there are a number of client requests that come outside of our regular meeting schedule.  

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Everyday there is an opportunity to learn something new. whether ti's from a client or a coworker, there is more to learn.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?

I think I came away from college knowing a lot about financial planning, but once I started interacting with the real-life situations, the knowledge gap became much more apparent.

What advice would you give someone interested in your field?

Get as much experience as you can before you hit the job market. You want to have as clear a picture as possible of your future picture. The internship definitely helped.

What were the stepping stones that led to your current career?

Working very hard in college helped me to get a job at a great firm. I've alluded to this already, but having as many relevant experiences makes a huge difference.

How have any changes in your life situation (marriage, family, changing locations, etc.) affected your career path?

 We moved to St. Louis for this job. That has been an interesting adjustment. We've also added our second child. 

Think back to the first year of college. What were the major lifestyle changes in the transition from college to the world of work? How did you adapt?

It was nice to come home and not feel the pressure to study. That didn't last long... I started to prepare for the CFP examination shortly after I started working. 

What was the one thing you did in college that has had the most impact on your life or career

Getting married. It's been amazing. Regarding my professional career, working hard opened so many doors. It allowed me to connect with some great and helpful people. 

What tips do you have for current undergrads about opportunities they should definitely take advantage of while they are in school? Were there any experiences you missed out on that you wish you would have participated in?

I think it was a blessing to work closely with many professors. They are a great resource and are very willing to help.

Was there a specific class you remember that sparked your interest in your career direction?

Intro to Personal Financial Planning was a great class that really piqued my interest in the major. 

Was there a specific person in college who had a significant impact on your life or career?

The PFP faculty was very helpful during my time there, but Dr. Sonya Britt, in particular, was very helpful. She gave me so many opportunities - participating in research, getting the internship, etc.