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How to Become a Financial Consultant: Jordan’s Journey Through the Financial Consultant Academy.

Are you a recent graduate looking to pursue a purposeful and meaningful career in Finance? If so, Schwab’s Financial Consultant Academy (FCA) may be the perfect place for you! The Financial Consultant Academy is a two-year program that helps you train to become a Financial Consultant in one of our nationwide Branch locations. From taking inbound client phone calls to mentorship and sales training, the Financial Consultant Academy program is an amazing opportunity to kickstart your career as a Financial Consultant (FC).

Jordan P. was a recent graduate from Prairie View A&M when he decided to pursue his career goal of becoming a Financial Consultant. Jordan currently works on the Pinnacle team at Schwab helping high net worth clients, but before joining the Financial Consultant Academy, Jordan initially earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance and then went back to Prairie View to earn his MBA. Throughout his college years, Jordan mentioned he was also a student-athlete which kept him busy. “After I graduated, I had a few internships in finance that were Investment Management related.” Once his internships ended, he began working as a substitute teacher for 3 years: “In the time of me being a substitute teacher for a year, I applied to the MBA program at Prairie View A&M and I was fortunate enough to get in. The fall of 2017 is when I started the MBA program and graduated in 2019. It was an opportunity to enhance a lot of the knowledge and the information I learned during undergrad. It was more of a moment for me to narrow down and figure out what I wanted to do in my career. When I got my bachelor's, I didn't know that yet. The MBA program allowed me to understand my trades, my skill sets, what I wanted to do, and what my passion is, so it worked out for me. I'm glad that I went through that and was ultimately able to decide to join Schwab.”

With an interest in Schwab, Jordan found the Financial Consultant Academy, which happened to be a perfect match to what he was looking for in his next career opportunity: “I knew that I had a finance background and at the time when I applied, I was working on my MBA. I knew at that point I was really interested in helping others with their financial situation and being a resource to them. That’s when I started looking for opportunities that aligned with that and I found Schwab’s Financial Consultant Academy.” After discovering the Financial Consultant Academy program at Schwab, Jordan mentioned that what really attracted him to pursue this opportunity was that, “the program wasn’t expecting you to be an expert going into it. It takes its time to develop and prepare you while allowing room for mistakes. I thought that was really eye-catching when I learned about the program and what it entailed, as well as that Schwab would be willing to pay for our training and educate us on everything we needed to know.”

Professional training and development.

With a passion for becoming a Financial Consultant, Jordan started in the Financial Consultant Academy program in August of 2019. Jordan went on to describe what his career path has looked like in the Financial Consultant Academy so far: “I’m on the Pinnacle team now, but throughout the program we started in the call center, taking the core service calls and we had a chance to study for our SIE (Security Industry Essentials) exam and then following that the Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. At that point, I became a licensed broker and we went through the trading essentials program. Since becoming a licensed broker in July, we have also been in different rotations.” Before starting these rotations, Jordan explained that preparing for this included going “through a 90-day performance period, which included putting all the skills and knowledge that we learned to use. In our broker training, we were putting that to use with clients calling in regarding broker questions and we got a chance to practice and apply those skills that we learned over time. Now we’re working with high net worth clients and ultimately, this is going to prepare us to go to the IDT (Investor Development Team) service team, which will have us making outbound calls to clients. This will help transition us for a Branch role here in August. Overall, it's definitely been an exciting program so far with a lot of learning opportunities and a lot of firsts for me. It's been a great experience.”

Leaders who support your development.

Part of what helped Jordan have a great experience included the amount of support and learning he has received throughout his time in the Financial Consultant Academy program: “From onboarding, they made it clear that we're not expecting you guys to know everything and I think that was a major thing for me. I feel like everyone was transparent, they were always willing to help. There were always resources to help us learn about different topics that we wanted to learn about, and managers and other team members encourage that. I learned that instantly when I started at Schwab – it’s definitely a collaborative space and many people want to see you win and want to see you succeed, especially within Financial Consultant Academy and the Branch. I've always felt empowered by managers and executive leaders to perform, be myself, and always be comfortable in asking for assistance or asking for resources to help me out with certain things. I think that's one of the main things that stood out to me and continues to this day.” With the continuous support from his team, Jordan feels confident that he not only can pursue his short term goal of becoming a Financial Consultant, but in the future, also give back to the community he came from: “A short term goal for me would be to ultimately become a Financial Consultant and possibly a branch manager one day, just to be able to influence more people and build my own philosophy of consulting. I also have goals within my community. I'm from Houston, Texas, so I want to be able to impact kids from the school that I went to and others in surrounding areas. I want to be able to somehow implement a financial literacy program or curriculum for them at early ages.”

Reflection and words of advice.

As Jordan’s time in the academy is almost coming to an end, he took a moment to reflect on what his biggest takeaway has been at Schwab so far: “In this industry and this career path, I feel like it's a marathon. You have to have a long-term vision. There is always going to be new information, new data to learn about, there are so many new developments that happen over the years. Being able to stick to our plan is very important as a client, and even as a professional, knowing what we want to accomplish and knowing what steps to take to get there is important. The world is for us to take it and achieve what we want to achieve.”

Lastly, Jordan offered his words of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career path in finance or enroll in the Financial Consultant Academy program themselves: “Make sure that this is something that you're passionate about. I know that helping others and educating them more than anything is definitely something I was passionate about going into the program. I feel like that's a major key throughout this program because there are going to be tough days and moments where a lot of information is thrown at you in a short amount of time and it can be overwhelming. It's important to always give yourself goals and write out your plan or what it is that you want to accomplish, even if it's tactical. Being able to set an agenda for yourself, personally and professionally, to be able to accomplish certain things will go a long way within the program because it's only going to enhance your professional development. At the end of the day, you're going to be learning a lot of information too. It's having a passion, giving yourself goals, and holding yourself accountable to achieving those goals that will put anyone in a really good space after that.”

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