After graduating from college with a Bachelors in Business Administration in 2012, Da-zha Jones began working for Vanguard at an entry level position. She now works as a senior Financial Advisor in their Flagship Personal Adviser Services department. She always wanted to pursue a higher degree in Personal Finance but didn’t want to sacrifice actual work experience for academic experience.
“Personal finance is one of those fields where the application of the material is critical. The online program allows me flexibility to maintain my professional career and do school. I can easily structure my calendar to incorporate school around work,” said Jones.
Jones graduated from UGA’s online Master of Science in Financial Planning program in Summer 2020. “This degree just creates more flexibility and options for where I can take my career in personal finance. I’m super excited to see what the future holds.”
For anyone considering this program, Jones suggests that you engage wherever you can. She made an effort to attend office hours and went to on campus events when she could. She also met professors in person and connected virtually with her classmates.
“Online courses are what you make them. Your goal should be to replicate as much of the in-person experience as you can,” Jones said.
Jones has really benefited from the program’s focus on client behavior as opposed to strictly a numbers-driven curriculum found in other financial master’s programs. Also, the program’s Financial Counseling course meets the prerequisite for the Accredited Financial Counselor exam which Jones took and passed in March of 2020.
“I learned so much about the way clients behave and how their life experiences impact their finances, which is relevant for real world experiences,” said Jones.
Jones hopes that in the future she will earn her PhD in Personal Finance and move towards becoming a professor. “I really have a passion for financial literacy, so I hope to either serve on the Board of a non-profit organization or maybe even start my own.”