Ryan Muscatella, who graduated magna cum laude from Virgina Tech's financial planning program, has decided to stay in the South rather than go back to his native New Jersey to begin his career.
Mr. Muscatella has accepted a job at Washington Wealth Advisors, based in Falls Church, Va., as a full-time client service and financial planning associate.
"I realized that, if I went back home, I probably wouldn't see any of my Virginia Tech friends for a while. So I thought, why not give it a shot?" said Mr. Muscatella. "Nothing's permanent. And I'm doing what I want to do."
In the two-pronged role, Mr. Muscatella said, he'll support the practice by helping to field calls, schedule meetings and follow up with clients, as well as run analyses and conduct research.
Todd Youngdahl, managing partner at the firm, which offers investment management and financial planning services, said the grad will be given the opportunity to obtain a certified financial planner designation and transition to an associate adviser in the next five years.
"My first goal is to learn as much as I can," said Mr. Muscatella, who got his first hands-on industry experience last summer during an internship with an experienced Merrill Lynch adviser. "Your education can only get you so far."
Mr. Muscatella's interest in the profession stems from witnessing his family make a few financial mistakes, as well as a seemingly genuine interest in helping people — in high school, he volunteered with the elderly, and served as head of marketing and advertising for a local Relay For Life branch.
He aspires to put his volunteer passion and acquired financial knowledge to work by teaching financial literacy on the side sometime down the road.
"You're not just picking a stock; you're helping people make sure they have that financial stability in the end," Mr. Muscatella said.