Financial Planning Student Overcomes Adversity

Nine months prior to joining UGA’s online Master’s in Financial Planning program, Tom Schorn suffered two brain hemorrhages, one a month before the program started and another, one month into the program.  Schorn considered withdrawing from the program, but both times, his professor Dr. Chatterjee encouraged him to stay. He’s glad he did.

Schorn had previously earned a B.S. in Accounting from West Chester University and a M.S. in Taxation from Widener University. He chose to enroll in UGA’s online Master’s of Financial Planning to benefit both his son and his growing business. 

Anticipated to graduate from the program in August 2020, Schorn explained “My son was graduating from High Point University, and since he was joining my business, I wanted him to take the MS in  Financial Planning. I thought it would be fun to take the program with him. We chose UGA to do the behavioral finance focus. Little did I know how important this program would be for me.” 

What he found most interesting about the program was how involved the professors have been in the online courses, specifically mentioning Dr. Grable and Dr. Carlson. “Both Dr. Grable and Dr. Carlson are excellent at their job. They both have exceeded my expectations. Each has been motivational to me and my son. I am sure that our classmates feel the same.”

“During my second class, Dr. Carlson was letting me know in a nice way that my writing did not meet her expectations. At that point I decided to let her know about the brain injury and some of the difficulties I was experiencing as a result. She gave me a bit of leeway in timing, allowed me to rewrite after I reviewed, provided some online sources that would help me write, and also pointed me to UGA sources that could help. She also encouraged me in a manner not expected from a professor.”

What Dr. Carlson didn’t know at the time was that Schorn was seriously considering withdrawing in the next couple weeks, and her caring kept him in the program. 

“The course work from the program catapulted my recovery and I am at a place my doctors never thought I would be able to achieve. This program returned me to the life I had. I never thought I would be here. Dr. Carlson changed my life in a way she probably never even could consider was possible. Without her my life would be much different. I was living a much different life post brain hemorrhage than I am today. Without her I wouldn’t have stayed in the program. Without staying in this program, I would not be where I am today. I cannot thank her enough for her caring and getting behind me when I needed help.” Shorn says. 

Schorn’s original goal with the online MFP was to have a once in a lifetime experience with his son doing something that most fathers don’t do; his goal as we complete the program is to pass the CFP examination, and now his goal subsequently is for both him and his son and to use the knowledge gained from the program to help groom him for becoming the leader of their business.