This is another in a series of stories about recent college graduates and their first job in the financial advisory profession.
Few 22-year-olds know exactly what kind of career they want, but Kelly Bradley feels like she already has her dream job.
Ms. Bradley, who graduated May 10 with a bachelor's degree in financial planning from Temple University, now works as an associate for Trinity Wealth Management, an independent advisory firm in Berwyn, Pa.
The job began as an internship during the summer of 2017, but Ms. Bradley's interest in financial planning began much earlier.
"Growing up, I was always doing spreadsheets and stuff," she said. Instead of running to the mall with $50 she earned babysitting, she would instead sit and budget it out.
Ms. Bradley originally studied marketing at Temple University, but an academic adviser suggested she try out the school's financial planning program. Seeing a chance to use her natural talent in business and analytics in a more interpersonal way, Ms. Bradley said she fell in love in her first class.
"You're kind of like their therapist and their financial adviser," she told InvestmentNews. "It's a great mix."
Ms. Bradley was invited by her professor to attend TD Ameritrade Institutional's National LINC conference in 2017, where she met Marjorie Wentz, an adviser at Trinity. The two connected, and Ms. Bradley eventually asked if the firm would consider taking her on as an intern.
Ms. Bradley is studying for her Series 65 exam so she can officially take on the title of adviser. She's already planning to become a certified financial planner and has the date circled in 2020 when she'll have the two-years' worth of experience required for the designation, provided she passes the CFP exam.
For now, Ms. Bradley spends her days sitting in client review meetings, taking notes, inputting information to eMoney Advisor and helping the firm's advisers, Charles Mann and Ms. Wentz, with whatever they need to build financial plans.
"What I'm doing now, it's my dream job. I didn't think I would get this lucky to already be sitting in meetings," she said. "I just really love giving people that financial peace. When you can help someone get that sense of relief, that makes my day."
Her goal is to eventually have her own book of business and expand her role in the industry, but Ms. Bradley isn't yet thinking ahead to owning her own business.
"I haven't thought that far down the road, but as long as I'm in this industry I can see myself being very happy."