Ex-intern's big chance

Madison Ernst starting this week with Atlanta advisory firm

Jun 9, 2013 @ 12:01 am

By Andrew Osterland

In her first summer internship while pursuing her financial planning degree at the University of Georgia, Madison Ernst spent most of her time cleaning up files and performing simple office duties at RTD Financial Advisors Inc. It wasn't until the following summer that she got a real taste of what financial planning and working with clients is all about.

“In the second summer, I got to participate in the planning process with two advisers at the firm,” said Ms. Ernst, 22, who graduated with a family financial planning degree last month. “I was doing research for different situations involving clients, and it was a lot more hands-on than the previous summer.”

Ms. Ernst was scheduled to start working today as a financial analyst with The Ayco Co. LP in Atlanta while studying for her Series 7 license and certified financial planner designation. Ayco, owned by The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., provides financial counseling and education services to corporate executives and high-net-worth individuals. Ms. Ernst expects that she'll begin doing some back-office work, crunching numbers and working with financial planning software she has learned over the past two years in her internships. But she also hopes to get some experience working with clients.

“I'm going to get my feet wet and use my education in the real world,” Ms. Ernst said. “I hope to sit in on client meetings and see how the advisers communicate with clients. I want to work with others in a team spirit, and they do that at Ayco.”

Her biggest areas of interest are in investment planning and estate planning. She credits the University of Georgia four-year program, which she completed in three years, for preparing her to work as an adviser — particularly its capstone course that has students draft financial plans for fictitious families. Ms. Ernst said she chose to major in financial planning because “it's an area where people need the most help.”

Big dreams

In 10 years, Ms. Ernst hopes to be a senior financial adviser or an account manager if she remains at Ayco. Like many young people, she likes the idea of being an entrepreneur and eventually charting her own course in the industry.

“My goal for the future is to eventually set up my own practice. I'd like to be independent,” Ms. Ernst said. Her father, a small-business owner for 30 years, encouraged her to pursue the financial planning career path.

While Ms. Ernst said she's comfortable working with numbers, that isn't the reason she focused on financial planning.

“I enjoyed math, but it wasn't my strongest subject. This profession is about getting to know people and understanding their goals in life,” she said. “I've always been interested in the stock market and financial world, but I'm a people person and I enjoy helping others.”

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

How to explain risk to a client

Most investors know investing involves risks as well as rewards and that the higher the risk, the greater the potential reward. But there are different types of risk and some are easier to understand than others, says Kendrick Wakeman of FinMason.

Latest news & opinion

Nontraded REITs to post worst sales since 2002

The industry is on track to raise just $4.4 billion, well off the $19.6 billion it raised just four years ago, as new regulations hinder sales.

Broker protocol for recruiting a boon for clients

New research finds advisers whose firms have joined the agreement take better care of customers.

Meet our 2017 Women to Watch

Introducing 20 female financial advisers and industry executives who are distinguished leaders, advancing the business of providing advice through their creativity and hard work.

Raymond James executives call on industry to keep broker protocol

Also ask firms to pay for the administration of the protocol to 'ensure its longevity and relevance.'

Senate committee approves tax plan but full passage not assured

Several Republican senators expressed reservations about the bill, and the GOP cannot afford too many defections.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print