RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship: Application Best Practices
Transcript of the video:
LESLIE TABOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Leslie Tabor, Managing Director of Business Consulting and Education for Schwab Advisor Services. It's my pleasure to introduce our RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship, where each year 12 students are awarded a $10,000 scholarship and the opportunity to connect with today's industry professionals. Over the next few minutes, you'll gain a better understanding of our student scholarship program, the timeline, processing components, and a few tips on preparing a successful application.
At Schwab, we're committed to building awareness of the independent registered investment advisor industry, and supporting a pipeline of high quality, diverse talent for firms to hire. And through our student scholarship, we aim to remove barriers and open doors for the next generation of talent to engage in and pursue a career in the RIA profession.
Independent registered investment advisors, or RIAs, provide personalized financial advice to their clients, many of whom have complex financial needs. These firms are truly independent, they're ethically motivated, and deeply trusted. And as one of the fastest growing segments within financial services, the RIA industry manages close to 6 trillion in client assets, and the opportunity to continue that growth trend is on the horizon, with 68 trillion set to pass from Baby Boomers to their Generation X and Millennial children. And with 73% of RIA firms indicating that they are hiring over the next 12 months, there's great potential for the next generation of talent to build successful career paths in this growing industry.
So to help the rising generation of talent, each year our RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship, again, we'll award 12 students majoring or minoring in financial planning with a $10,000 scholarship and an opportunity to connect with professionals in the RIA industry. Six of our 12 scholarships will be awarded to underrepresented and diverse students. Now, you can apply for our scholarship during the open application period using the web address shown here on the screen.
So what makes for a standout scholarship application? The scholarship application has four main components. Now those sections include your official transcript and declaration of major. So to be eligible for this scholarship, you must be pursuing a major or minor in financial planning and be in good standing with an accredited four-year institution in either your freshmen, sophomore, or junior year. Next, your resume and relevant experience, followed by a personal essay. And, finally, your letters of recommendation. All of these elements tell your unique story and provides a holistic view of who you are, your passion for and commitment to the financial planning profession. Again, here you see the timeline for our open application period. Now, during that time, you'll be able to complete your application, which includes submitting your letters of recommendation. So the deadline for both the application and your letters of recommendation is June 3. Winners will be announced in July, with the scholarship rewards sent later that month. So let's take a closer look at some scholarship application best practices.
Now, in the resume section of the application, highlight any industry experiences you've had—internships with advisory or financial firms, as well as part-time and full-time work. Don't forget to include work experience outside of financial planning, as well. Think of the various extracurricular activities you've taken part in, such as athletics, involvement in any student-led organization, perhaps a sorority or fraternity, or any volunteer work you've done within your community. This is also your chance to write a bit about your successes and academic achievements. So make sure to list your honors and any awards you've received. Be specific, the more descriptive you can be in describing your responsibilities, the better. In addition to highlighting what you've accomplished, describe the skills and the behaviors that led to those accomplishments. You really want to paint a picture of your journey and experiences to help set you apart from other applicants.
Your essay is your chance to shine. Explain why you are pursuing a career as a financial planner and your passion for the independent RIA model. Now, if you're applying for one of our diversity scholarships, take the opportunity to explain why diversity is so important to this profession. Authenticity is celebrated, so I really encourage you to speak from your heart. And any good writer will tell you that the key to engaging the reader is to show rather than tell. Really paint a picture so your reader feels as if they're right there with you. Lastly, edit, edit, and edit again. Make sure you proofread and correct any grammatical or spelling errors. A good tip is to ask for help. A second or even third set of eyes is always a good idea.
Now, your letter of recommendation, yet another opportunity for you to demonstrate just how incredible you are. Choose wisely when selecting those who will be submitting a recommendation letter on your behalf. How well do you know them and for how long? What type of relationship do you have with them, and are they supportive of you pursuing this type of career? Now, while you can certainly include those with whom you have a personal relationship with, it's always good to include someone with industry knowledge, such as a financial planning professor or a financial advisor. Ultimately, whomever you choose, it should be someone who could speak to your academic credentials, your character as a person, and why you would be the right person to not only receive the scholarship, but why you are uniquely suited for a career in financial planning.
So please visit the URL you see here for access to the application site, which, again, is expected to open on April 1. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. And on behalf of my colleagues at Schwab, I wish you all the best of luck with your scholarship application and all your future endeavors. Thank you.