- Cameo Roberson, Personal Financial Planning Alumna
|Department||:||Business and Management|
Cameo Roberson had been working as an operational and legal assistant in the investment world for a number of years when she realized she was ready for a change. She wanted to make an impact in her community, and decided to apply her skills to helping others become more financially responsible.
“Initially, I was apprehensive because there aren't a lot of African American women represented in the financial planning world,” she says. “I was really compelled to operate an important role—to go beyond playing a back-office, operations role.”
“I had already started helping others with their financial situations on a pro-bono basis, and I wanted to teach them the benefits of effective money management. I had tons of back office experience, but wanted a deeper understanding of the finance world. That’s when I realized it was time to start taking classes.”
UCSC Extension’s Personal Financial Planning program helped her develop the critical skills. She was impressed with her instructors’ extensive real-world expertise. In her “Financial Planning, Survey” course, she helped create a financial plan for a hypothetical couple based on sample data.
“We had to explore investment issues and retirement ideas and recommend a financial plan,” she says. “I enjoyed being able to work with my classmates, share our individual knowledge base, and come up with a solid plan.”
Roberson appreciated the program’s focus on effective communication with clients. Her “Mathematics for Financial Planning” course offered a practical context for working with clients to create effective plans; and the math behind those plans.
“In financial planning, there’s always a lot of emphasis placed on math, and picking the right investments,” she says. “But there’s software available that can help you analyze that. Financial planning is 70 percent people management: Are you able to make a connection with your client, put them at ease, and explain the financial planning process in a way that makes sense to them?”
In addition to her work as a trust administration and legal assistant, Roberson volunteers at her church providing financial counseling. She hopes to complete Extension’s Personal Financial Planning certificate, study for the Certified Financial Planning™ exam and build an independent practice.
“Financial planning can be intimidating,” she says. “I want to empower the people I work with. The ability to bring clarity to someone’s financial situation can impact generations of people.”