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Kelley School of Business to host finance workshop with Association of Financial Professionals

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IU’s Kelley School of Business announced on Sept. 25 that it is partnering with the Association for Financial Professionals to host a corporate financial planning and analysis workshop. Already in development, the first workshop is slated to begin next spring.

The workshop will include classes designed to help students who plan to pursue financial planning and analysis learn about the industry. It will feature two workshop courses, six required courses and eight recommended elective courses.

“Historically, a lot of our workshops in finance have been narrow areas, like investment banking,” D.J. Masson, Kelley School of Business professor and leader of the partnership, said. “The idea of corporate finance is most of our finance majors end up going out in that area, so it is much more broad and more appealing for the average finance student.”

The AFP is an association devoted to corporate finance and treasury. Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP, said this is a beautiful collaboration.

Masson said members of the AFP, who are almost all corporate practitioners from many Fortune 500 companies, will benefit by hiring individuals with the proper skillset. He said students will benefit by having a competitive advantage when it comes to starting their careers post-graduation.

Masson said he has been working on a way to include financial planning into the Kelley School of Business curriculum for six years. He originally wanted to turn financial planning and analysis into a major, but decided the structure of a workshop was better suited for the subject. Masson said what helped to create the workshop was that they already had classes in place with the Business Analytics co-major.

While the workshop already has more than 50 applicants, Masson said students can still apply. He hopes the workshop will grow to be one of the bigger programs at Kelley, and said it has the potential to cater to 75 workshop students each year. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered for acceptance. The structure of the workshop is designed for sophomores, but juniors and seniors will also be included.

“The bottom line is that we are going to put in a lot of time to get everything set up,” Masson said. “A couple years down the line, we hope the upperclassmen will take a little more of the responsibility.”

Kaelan Conway, AFP Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Workshop President, said that while the workshop classes will not start until next spring, he is excited to develop the foundation for this partnership. Conway is currently an IU senior but said he plans to stay in touch after graduation to serve as a mentor to the new members while he is a full-time employee.

Conway said the AFP provides a lot of resources, as well as a network of professionals.

“The support they can provide, as well as the visibility, is tremendous given the network they have, nationally and internationally,” he said.

Kaitz also added that there are far more jobs in financial planning and analysis than in the smaller sectors of business since it focuses on how businesses will grow in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor, overall employment of financial analysts is projected to grow eight percent from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than average for all occupations.

He said many members of AFP are interested in hiring students from this workshop, as they will have developed the skills related to this field.

While the workshop will provide students with valuable skills that are directly translatable into the workplace, Kaitz also said it will prepare them for the Financial Planning and Analysis Certification offered by the AFP. He said this certification can help advance a person’s career, and it shows that they have the skill sets employers are looking for.

In addition to the workshop, AFP is providing an exam preparation platform with student pricing to all Kelley School of Business students who want to obtain their financial planning certification.

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