Students attend Ameritrade LINC conference 2018



University students, Gabriela Contreras and James Donahue, attended Ameritrade LINC, an annual financial planning conference after winning a writing contest about the future of financial planning, which earned them a trip to one of the largest events in the industry.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

Two University students were selected to attend Ameritrade LINC, an annual financial planning conference, along with 56 other students.

Gabriela Contreras and James Donahue won a writing contest about the future of financial planning, which earned them a trip to one of the largest events in the industry.

The LINC conference lasted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 and took place in Orlando, Florida. The two students’ expenses, including meals and travel costs, were paid for in full by the conference.

The conference has been inviting undergraduate financial planning students and their program directors since 2007 and has engaged with over 300 students, Alyson Nikulicz, spokeswoman of TD Ameritrade, said.

“TD Ameritrade understands that the 58 students they brought out will be their advocates for years to come,” Craig Lemoine, program director and University advisor, said.

At this year’s National LINC conference, students were able to attend lectures with professors, actors, authors and industry CEOs. Smaller break-away discussions were also held.

“The TD LINC conference provided rich networking and development opportunities,” Lemoine said. “The event also provided continuing education and exciting panels on how technology will shape the future of our profession.”

Outside of the conference, TD Ameritrade Institutional also develops programs to help students get their first jobs. These services include RIA InterNetwork, which provides an information platform for interns, and RIA NextGen Career Exchange, the first free job search and resume posting site in the industry.

“The financial planning industry has been undergoing some significant changes in the last 10 years. More firms are moving from selling products to charging customers fees,” Lemoine said. “This move has helped create new jobs and opportunities for young planners.”

Lemoine said quality jobs in the field actually outnumbered seniors in the financial planning concentration in ACES this year.

“Conferences like this one reinforce the rich opportunities for young professionals within financial planning,” Lemoine said.

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