Promoting Financial Literacy Is Career Goal
Helping clients achieve economic security through financial literacy is Jalen Blackmon’s ultimate career goal. But the senior finance (financial planning track) and accounting double major is quick to own that he, like so many people, has not always known how to successfully manage his money. Aware of the dangers of this deficit, he set out to educate himself. Now, he wants to shape his future career around the sharing of this knowledge.
Blackmon hopes to one day establish his own financial advising business, with the ultimate goal of working as a sports agent. The two lines of work are actually quite compatible, he says. All too often celebrities and professional athletes sign multimillion-dollar contracts and enjoy the elevated lifestyle these contracts provide. But often, they don’t protect their earnings in the present, or plan for the future. One year they are living the high life; the next they are declaring bankruptcy.
The concept of making your money work for you – passive income – is not common knowledge, Blackmon says, probably because financial literacy isn’t taught in schools.
“I would like to reach those who don’t have access to this information,” Blackmon says. “Saving and investing is what takes care of yourself, and the passive income you build will take care of your future and more.”
Blackmon equates financial solvency with freedom: Freedom from dependency and embarrassment and freedom to take care of yourself and family, to be your own boss, to secure your future, to having more free time in the present. Well-known financial advisors espouse the principles of saving and investing, so why not heed their advice and perpetuate it himself, he reasons.
This summer the St. Louis native is working for ConAgra as a global business services intern. As such, he will help the accounts receivable team increase its business function efficiency through artificial intelligence. Numbers intrigue him – the relationship between them, the patterns they form, the stories they tell about a business.
“The most exciting thing about this opportunity is being able to see how a major corporation operates behind the scenes,” he says. “I hope to learn how to use Power BI (Microsoft’s data visualization tool) very well and become proficient, as well as gain great career experience.”
Prior to ConAgra, Blackmon served as an investor services intern with TD Ameritrade. He values his internships, saying they “help you get a clear vision of what you’d like to do in the future” and “not take your classes for granted.” He says classroom learning has prepared him to not only secure but to also perform in his diverse internship experiences.
Blackmon is glad he chose Creighton three years ago. He calls the Heider College of Business faculty and staff “very endearing” and committed to student success. “They really want to see you win, and they believe in you. If the faculty and staff weren’t so engaging, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now.”