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Students hear financial planning industry professionals at four-day California conference

Are you a financial planning major? If so, you might be interested in the largest registered investment advisor (RIA) industry event, The TD Ameritrade Institutional National RIA Conference.

Seniors Maia Greer and David Bonkowski were among 50 financial planning majors from more than 20 colleges who attended The TD Ameritrade Institutional National RIA Conference this year. The event ran from Feb. 1- 4 in San Diego, California.

During the conference, more than 3,200 financial advisors, along with others in the profession, attended.

The students had the opportunity to network with experts from across the nation, while exploring job opportunities. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a provider of technology of practice management services for more than 4,500 registered investment advisors. The firm invites students from across the country to participate in event, while covering hotel and travel expenses, according to its web site

The two Olivet students attended sessions by David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Lisa Bodell, CEO of Futurethink; Tim Hockey, president of TD Ameritrade, and other well-known CEOs.

The students also had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions, while attending networking events.

Bonkowski said, “They taught us different things on how we can improve ourselves coming out of school, and getting ready for the business world. We also had the opportunity to get interviewed on what we wanted to do in our life, and the opportunity to get possible internships.”

Bonkowski and Greer found out about this conference from Professor Tom Humphrey. Bonkowski mentioned that once invited, he researched the company to gather more information regarding the event.

Bonkowski said, “All I’ve heard was good things about it, and it was awesome; it was the only conference I’ve been to, but the best conference I have ever been to.”

Greer said, “I really did like the conference; it was really technology driven this year, so I got to learn more so about the programs and software they use in financial planning.”

Greer said, “It was a great opportunity to go and work with a lot of people who are in the industry. I actually learned a lot about the people who are in the industry, and the people I should talk with.”

When asked if they attend the conference next year if given the opportunity, both Greer and Bonkowski were more than happy to take the offer if given once again.

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