May 16, 2021


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Western Carolina University – College of Business students dominate national financial planning competition

3 min read

By Geoff Cantrellfinance winners

From left to right, Sophia Spangler, Patrick Payne and Kristen Revis

It was first place honors for Kristen Revis and a solid third place for Sophia Spangler,
finance students in Western Carolina University’s College of Business, in a national collegiate competition held this past week in St. Louis.

They rose from a field of 73 students representing 10 universities to find success
in a financial planning competition by the International Association of Registered
Financial Consultants. Open to undergraduate students who are enrolled in a financial
services curriculum, teams undertake a fictional case narrative and from it craft
a financial plan, which is judged for effectiveness and potential for success.

“This process has caused you to step out of your comfort zone to present your ideas
and actions to some of the best in the profession,” said Barry Dayley, of Money Concepts
International and association vice president. “Now that the competition is over and
the awards have been presented, you can relax and celebrate your accomplishments as
you have reached one of the pinnacles of your educational experience.”

The competition followed three stages: an initial scrutiny by professional consultants;
a semifinal elimination round then advancement for four top teams to present to the
association’s chapter board members.

“The competition was a challenging learning experience, but has opened many doors
for me.,” said Revis. “I am confident that Western Carolina’s finance department has
prepared me for a career in financial planning.”

Revis is currently in discussion with several financial planning firms, but said she
has no set plans at the moment.

“Our students really rose to the challenge provided by the 2021 National Financial
Plan Competition,” said Patrick Payne, WCU associate professor of finance and competition adviser for both students. “It expanded their horizons and encouraged
them to dive deep into the planning process as well as giving them a chance to see
how to present to clients and get feedback from industry professionals. We are very
proud of them and their hard work on this competition.”

Following graduation at the end of the semester, Spangler said she plans to move to
Georgia this summer and work for a financial planning firm that specializes in assisting
military families.

“The competition was an eye opener,” Spangler said. “Going from theory to having someone
question the decisions based on that theory was helpful. It was good to work through
that relationship, the dynamic of a planner and a client, and actually working together
for best outcomes was cool.”

WCU’s Finance Department teaches students the art and science of money management
with career opportunities include financial planning, investment management, corporate
finance, treasury management, investment banking, commercial banking and real estate,
risk management and insurance. For more information, visit, call 828-227-7412 or email [email protected]

About the B.S.B.A Finance Program

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Location: Cullowhee, Main Campus

Degree Program: Undergraduate, B.S.B.A

Modality: Residential, 120 Credit Hours

Concentration: Banking, Personal, Gen,

Real-world experience with student orgs

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