My name is Benaiah Gorman and I am a graduating senior at Kansas State University studying Personal Financial Planning with a certificate in Sales. During the spring semester of my junior year I was paired with Julie Fletcher, a fee-only financial advisor in Denver, CO. Julie and I made it a point to talk monthly to update each other on our lives, career or otherwise. She was there for me while I was entering the meat of my majors’ classes and allowed me to learn from her, vent to her, and get other perspective of the career field that I did not see. We have gotten to tell each other of significant life events such as me being selected to compete in a national competition, traveling and graduating college. While she has gotten married, traveled to Italy and started her own firm. The travel grant that the mentoring program provides allowed to me to go visit someone who has been a huge part of my college career over the past two years and meet them in person.
Julie was one of the earlier graduates from the Personal Financial Program. She graduated in 2005 and immediately started in the industry with a large broker dealer for the first two years of her career. While learning about the industry, she realized that the corporate world was not suited for her interest in helping people, so she sought out a smaller firm that focused more on a relationship with people and provided a fiduciary standard for her clients. She worked at 3 different firms over the next 12 years and just recently started her own firm that focuses on SRI (socially responsible investing). While working in the Denver she was a part of multiple organizations providing support to many women in business such Women’s Estate Planners, Women of FPA, and Professional Advisor Council. Over the busyness of the past two years, she has still found time for me to ask questions and provide support to me through my classes and education outside of my classes.
While in Colorado, I got to explore the city of Denver and visit her firm. I got to see all the things that take place behind the scenes of starting your own firm and the unexpected difficulties that come along with that. We got lunch at one of her local favorite restaurants and got to talk about my senior classes, my plans after college, and what I was most excited about starting my own career in the financial service industry. We even did a mock interview because she wanted to see how I answered some of the most important questions in the industry. Julie has taught me what networking is like, how to maintain professional relationships, and how to get out of my comfort zone.
Julie is one of those people who truly cares about what she does and who she does it with. I am so grateful the I was paired with her to be my mentor and this a relationship that will last far beyond college and state borders.
If you are interested in joining the College of Human Ecology’s Professional Mentoring Program as a mentor or mentee, CLICK HERE.
For more information regarding the travel grant program, CLICK HERE.