UNK Students Receive Advice to Last a Lifetime

Posted: September 5, 2023 12:00:00 AM CDT

It’s not often that people are given a glimpse into their future. Thanks to adjunct instructors Jeremy Armagost and Troy Brockmeier, students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney are offered a chance to see what their future financial life can look like. Using their own knowledge as well as the wisdom offered by Brian Ursu, author of Now What, these financial advisors share their knowledge with UNK College of Business and Technology students who are much younger than their typical clients. This opportunity to learn about finances can potentially change the trajectory of the lives of these Lopers, something that Armagost and Brockmeier are both excited about.Jeremy headshot

Armagost, who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a financial advisor, grew up hearing the language of finances. However, he understands that this is not the case with everyone. He understands that Personal Money Management (FIN 160) might be, for many students, the “first opportunity they’ve ever had to have (the) conversations” that will help them handle money to their best advantage now and in their future. By learning to use tools to manage their income, these students are set up for success before they move forward in their chosen profession.

For Brockmeier, who has worked as a financial advisor for the past three decades, it’s important to give back to his community. When he was approached three years ago about the opportunity to teach at UNK, he saw it as the perfect way to use his expertise to help others. In his firm, he “sees mistakes that people are making” and views teaching as a way to help young people avoid common financial pitfalls. By sharing what he knows, he is able to make a positive impact on students who otherwise may make decisions that could potentially wreak havoc on their future finances.Troy headshot

True to the experiential learning that has long been the hallmark of classes at UNK, Brockmeier explains that he and Armagost prepare lessons that require the students to “do activities” that have a “real world” aspect. One example is when students are first asked to contemplate where they spend their money before beginning a project which, according to Brockmeier, requires them to “track every dollar” they spend. By the end of this activity, students have an appreciation of money that they didn’t have before. As Brockmeier shares, students respond with tongue-in-cheek comments such as “I hate your spreadsheet.” when they realize how tracking their spending helps them control how their money is being used. This type of hands-on experience is useful for setting them on the right path, one that will hopefully be free of common financial pitfalls. As Brockmeier shares, they “want these activities to be real” for their students.

According to Armagost, the fact that “most financial advisors, in general, are really educating our clients” makes teaching a “natural extension” of his day-to-day work life. He explains that “there’s always been an element of teaching” to his job, making his transition to the classroom an obvious choice. He explains that what he is teaching these college students is something that “affects everybody.” By increasing financial literacy for these students, both Armagost and Brockmeier are confident their classes are valuable for every UNK Loper.

While some majors at UNK require students to take FIN 160, it is a course available to everyone. Activities designed around “real life situations” that, according to Armagost, focus on what everyone “should be doing that most people don’t” expose students to basic principles that can lead to a lifetime of good financial decisions. personal money management stock-picture.png

Most of the clients Armagost and Brockmeier see in their firms haven’t been college students for many years. According to Armagost, he “would encourage every student to sign up” for FIN 160 to help start them on a track that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Hearing students share that this “is the most valuable class (they’ve) taken” is proof that financial literacy is a crucial part of the full college experience. Armagost explains that “the vast majority of people do not grow up talking about money” which is something he and Brockmeier are trying to correct through the real-life and hands-on experiences they successfully offer their students.

As Brockmeier explains, FIN 160 is part of Loper 11, a curriculum that has been designed to help UNK students get the most out of their college experience as well as achieve optimally in their future careers. Being offered the chance to learn valuable information that most clients are willing to pay their financial advisors for is an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. Fortunately, for students at UNK, Armagost and Brockmeier are ready and willing to share their combined 46 years of experience. It’s simply an offer no one should refuse.

By: Sandy Brannan

Category: Business and Technology, Entrepreneur, General

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