Holberg Financial Blog

"Reflections from HF's Summer Intern" By Vivian Liu.

Posted by holbergfinancial on August 15, 2016

Hello! Guest writer here. My name is Vivian, and I spent this summer interning at Holberg Financial. I’ll be starting my second year of college at the University of Chicago this fall. As my first internship draws to a close, I’ve spent some time in reflection.

What did I do this summer? How will my work impact others? And on a more general note, why is it important for millennials to start thinking about managing their finances?

Working at Holberg Financial has allowed me to dip my feet in a variety of different tasks: emailing external companies and organizations to propose partnerships, creating advertisements for social media, and producing my main project, which was a personal finance curriculum geared towards college students. At the beginning of the summer I was given the independence to brainstorm my own initiative for engaging this demographic. My solution provides what I hope is a fun and accessible source of financial education for young professionals. (That said, if you want to check it out, the first of six short and informative modules is linked here! If you're interested in getting the other 5 for free, email info@holbergfinancial.com)

I have to (reluctantly) admit that before starting this internship, I, like too many college students, was not financially knowledgeable. So, in order to write personal finance lessons, I had to first learn about personal finance. That included budgeting strategies, retirement accounts, the difference between mutual funds (bad) and exchange- traded funds (good)-- the works. As I began to read deeply on the subject, terms that I had heard adults toss around since I was a kid suddenly emerged from dark ambiguity.

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There's a lot to know...but you can definitely learn it over time.

One important example: credit scores. I knew high scores were good and low scores were bad, but never their relevance or calculation process. Credit scores depend not only on your amounts owed, but also on your payment record, credit record length, new credit level, and credit diversity. I began to see my spending decisions informed by my newly acquired information. Before making big purchases, I’ve started asking myself questions like “Is this an investment or a consumption purchase? Either way, does it fit into my budget?”

Unfortunately, these basic questions are ones that many college students don’t give thought to until after graduation. The harsh reality of post-college financial independence often comes abruptly, thanks to the alarmingly commonplace absence of finance education at all levels of schooling. I built “MoneyMatters Crash Course” (MMCC) using casual yet informative narration, generation-relevant cartoons, and easy-to-understand diagrams to motivate my peers to prepare for financial life after college. We’ve already started getting interest in MMCC from companies in the ed-tech space! Hopefully it's just a sneak peek of what’s to come.

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It's important to know that personal finances isn't all about "spending less."

Although my time at Holberg Financial will soon be over, I believe that the scope of MMCC has the potential to not only educate thousands of college students across the United States, but also to help young professionals embrace the responsibilities of adulthood. Financial education is much more enjoyable and approachable than it may initially appear. If you have comments/questions for me about my internship experience or MMCC, I’d love to talk! You can reach me through email at vivianliu@uchicago.edu or you can always reach out to Holberg Financial at info@holbergfinancial.com or check out our site at www.holbergfinancial.com.

- Vivian

Topics: Credit, Credit Report, Credit Score, Education, ETFs, Financial Fun Facts, Learning, Mutual Funds, Retirement, Savings, Spending, Vision, Goals, Dreams, Wealth

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