Eight teams from six schools were given a case study involving a big-spending, common-law couple. As well as Conestoga, participating schools included Ryerson University, Centennial College, Humber College, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and Nova Scotia Community College
Over the course of two hours, each team was required to develop a financial plan for the couple and present it to a panel of judges, all of whom were certified financial planners.
Having the chance to examine a real-world financial challenge and put their classroom knowledge to use was rewarding for the students.
“It’s hard to get that in a classroom,” said Wania. “You get to present in front of industry professionals, and to be recognized that you’re number one is pretty special.”
For Pat Leicester, Financial Planning program coordinator at Conestoga, preparing students for the competition meant helping them hone what they had already learned in the classroom.
“We created simulations for the students where they had 2 hours to do case studies,” she explained. “Overall students spent a total of 14 hours preparing for the event.”
But according to Leicester, the Conestoga students were already well prepared for the competition and for the realities of financial planning.
“Because we knew that our students were doing more casework in the classroom than other colleges, we were confident they would perform well.”
In addition to the classroom casework, Leicester said that all financial planning students at Conestoga work on three progressive case studies in their capstone course during their final semester. Students are also required to complete individual financial plans as their final project.