Hear from some of our alumni about their experience in the program...
A few 2020 Graduates, Tentative
Name: Jeffrey Wallace
My professional background is mainly concentrated in the health and finance industries. I am currently employed as the Operations Manager at E.T.S. Financial Services, LLC where I assist the VP of Operations and President/CFP® in the daily operations of the firm. Previously, I was employed in the accounting field working directly with a CPA.
My experience at UA has been very rewarding as I have been enrolled twice as a student. It actually began in the Fall of 1984 as I was enrolled as an Accounting Major. A terminal illness occurred within my family and I had to withdraw in the Spring of 1986. During the time between 1986 and 2016 I did not complete my bachelor’s degree but was able to work in the retail and information technology industries. Also, during this time I had an empty feeling of not completing my bachelor’s degree at UA. So, in the spring of 2016 after speaking with several administrative staff members and instructors in the College of HES I decided to enroll in the Bama By Distance Program and complete my bachelor’s degree in Financial Planning. The advice that I have been given to assist me in my professional career and the classes I have taken that apply to the “real” world have given me an A+ experience at UA!
Name: Lance Quesada
I have enjoyed the classes and instructors during my time at the University of Alabama. The information I have learned will be critical for my future endeavors.
A few 2019 Graduates
Name: Lindsey Swanson
I currently work as an investment analyst and I’m studying to take my CFP exam in July of 2019. My current career goal is to become a financial advisor at my present employer.
Employer Name: Releve Financial Group
I’ve really enjoyed my time at UA. It’s been a different experience than most colleges, but it works for my situation. I chose this program because it would allow me to earn my bachelor’s while getting my CFP education. Online education has been ideal for me as well because I’ve been working in the industry and I didn’t want to have to quit my job to get my degree.
Name: Kimberly Lewis
I waited tables the first part of my college career. I have been employed by UA for the past three years as an office administrator in their maintenance department. I have various responsibilities through this position with tons of paperwork being at the top.
It's been a long time coming. It's taken me 4.5 years to get to this point, 5.5 if you count the random one year that I didn't take any classes - along with changing my majors five times before finding the one that I truly enjoyed. So needless to say I'm glad I have finally found the end. Fun fact: My advisor back in 2014 told me about this major and suggested that I give it a shot but I did the total opposite and declared an English major. It wasn't until 2017 that I took her advice and gave this degree a chance and I've loved every second of it. Listen to your advisors!
My experience at UA has been great. I'm forever grateful that they have given me the ability to obtain my degree through this online curriculum as well as giving me a place of employment.
A few 2018 Graduates
Name: McKenna Torell
I am currently a senior here at the University of Alabama graduating in December of 2018. I am a dual program student majoring in financial planning and accounting. After graduation I want to work towards taking my CPA exam as well as sit for the CFP exam. I would love to take all of the knowledge I have taken in over these past four years and be the best financial advisor for my clients.
I have loved my time here at UA so much that I even decided to stay an extra semester and adding a second major. I am from California so moving across the country was very intimidating at first but there are so many amazing opportunities to get involved in on campus that it made the transition effortless. I have met some amazing professors and staff members who have helped me through this crazy journey and I will forever be thankful for the guidance and support the university has given me.
Name: Stefani Butto
I am a senior majoring in Financial Planning. After graduating I hope to pass my CFP exam and start pursuing my career. Tentative Graduation Date: May 2018.
My time at The University of Alabama has shown and given me and the tools how to successfully become a financial planner. I believe that all my professors in CHES have given me what I need to strive in this occupation.
Name: Cristy Gilliam
I have a background mainly in customer service. I also have experience in accounting, particularly account receivables and account payables. Employer Name: City of Tuscaloosa.
My time at UA has been a difficult yet rewarding experience. I have learned a great deal of information and knowledge and met some of the most wonderful people in the world. I've also gained access to a great network of people and opportunities.
Name: Zackery Barnett
Having been born and raised in scenic Chattanooga, TN and growing up in rural Southern Indiana; throughout my formative year I got the best of both worlds. After a well rounded upbringing I decided shortly after high school to join the Army. After a medical retirement I chose to pursue an education in financial planning here at the University of Alabama. Having the program be CFP Board Registered has been great and brings a very well qualified education into the financial services industry. UA has given me the confidence to help clients meet their financial goals with their best interests as a top priority as well as stand out among the crowd of other Financial Advisors/Planners. Employer Name: Edward Jones.
I have had the pleasure of being introduced to a number of great professionals and firms in Birmingham through our UA FPA. Additionally, out alumni support is wonderful and many of our graduates have gone on the become CFP’s and make waves in the industry. Our courses alone give us an advantage among other students who want to enter into the financial services industry.
Name: David Gunn Pradat II
I am a senior majoring in family financial planning. I want to take the CFP exam after I graduate and start a career in financial planning.
I have had a fantastic experience at UA, especially during my time taking classes in the HES college. My professors in the HES college have been very engaging and made even the more challenging classes enjoyable.
A few 2017 Graduates
Name: Leigh Johnson
I pride myself with having become an accomplished consultative sales professional with 20+ years in the field on both a corporate and consumer level. I currently hold multi-state licenses in insurance and financial sales and work at State Farm.
My experience at UA has been a wonderful one. My only regret is not being able to live close to campus to get the true feel of being in the Alabama environment. However, I would never have been afforded the ability to obtain a degree from the University had it not been through distance learning. I am truly grateful that I was able to return to my home state via the web to obtain a childhood dream of getting my education from the University of Alabama. As an adult student, I have been amazed at the wealth of information that has been made available to me through my professors. I had some personal hurdles through my time at Alabama and all my professors were so understanding and willing to work with me to help me accomplish my goals. I would not have traded the last 5 years for anything - the hard work is finally paying off! Roll Tide!
Name: Dallion Moorer
I’m a senior majoring in financial planning. After graduation I want to take to CFP exam and pursue and career in Sports Finance/Business.
I have enjoyed my time at UA. I chose this major because I like the versatility of it, and that it allows you to do different things. I also like the small class sizes.
Name: Matt McMillian
My adventure in education at the University of Alabama has taken me through many fields before I finally found my home in Consumer Sciences. Studying Financial Planning has been a wonderful experience and attending Financial Planning Association meetings has cemented in me my desire to continue exploring and learning in this field by working in a Financial Planning firm and one day getting a Masters Degree in this field.
Name: Reid Rhoden
My time as a student at The Capstone has been one of personal enrichment, both academically and socially. All of the work I have put in to my chosen course of study has been beyond beneficial in allowing me to obtain not only the knowledge required to begin work as a member of the financial planning field, but also a genuine enjoyment for my chosen career path. I was able to communicate openly and work with all of my professors to get the assistance I needed to be successful and get the most out of every class. I am excited about the opportunities that will arise from my time studying financial planning.
Name: Joseph Michael Vaughan
As a double major in professional accounting and family financial planning, I am seeking full-time employment with a company that offers both tax accounting and wealth management services. I am currently studying for the CPA, and have plans for the CFP later in my career. I plan to start my career as an entry-level tax accountant, but I am open to many options.
Name: Neal Phillips
I hope to become a financial planner and I am excited that I will be able to help families achieve financial security.
My experience at UA: I was undecided on a major for my first three semesters, but after a visit to the Career Center, I decided to major in Family Financial Planning. I am very glad I did, as the HES college has been a great experience with great professors and many opportunities to get involved.
Name: John M. Bullard
I am a financial planner with AC Financial Partners, currently working to obtain my CFP practitioner designation. We help clients find Life|Money|Balance.
I have enjoyed my time at UA, even though I have not had the on-campus experience. I believe it has prepared me to obtain the CFP and to serve my clients as their financial planner fiduciary.
Name: Jamie Benson
Jamie is a detail-driven financial specialist with ten years experience in banking and financial services at First Citizens Bank.
I have really enjoyed by experience at UA, and I have learned an incredible amount in my time at Alabama. It has definitely been quite challenging, but I am so grateful for the availability to pursue my degree at Alabama while still working full-time in a completely different state.
A few 2016 Graduates
Name: Chris Hinshaw
Residential Mortgage Loan Officer with PNC Mortgage.
As a distance learning student, I actually feel more engaged with my classmates through discussion posts and a curriculum that doesn’t get derailed by the class.
Name: Brittany Sandberg
Brittany Sandberg is currently working as an Administrative Associate for SunTrust Investment Services in Savannah, GA. Mrs. Sandberg has worked in the finance industry for six years, and has experience in domestic and international banking with client sales, service, and financial guidance.
My time at the University of Alabama has been a wonderful experience. While the Financial Planning degree track can be challenging, I found comfort in knowing that the Distant Learning Program allowed me to pursue both my educational and career goals simultaneously.
Name: Kyle Hampton Hogg
Being a student at The University allows an individual to enhance their lives educationally, socially, and politically. Also, we win every football game. Roll Tide.
Name: Dillon Bauer
Over the past four years at The Capstone I have been educated with a multitude of classes that will help me prepare for my CFP exam and future endeavors. I have been fortunate to be able to receive a bright education with faculty and staff members that have given their unconditional help and support.
Name: Grace Martin
I was an out-of-state student that came from Dallas, Texas to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Being part of the College of Human Environmental Sciences enabled me to find a smaller community within this large university and offered me the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate and graduate degree through the University Scholars Program. During my time at the Capstone, I enjoyed participating as a CHES Ambassador and serving as president for the Financial Planning Association at UA.
Name: Charles Wesley Wood
Originally from Hershey, Pennsylvania, choosing the University of Alabama was my first financial planning decision. I chose to attend UA based on a scholarship offer and acceptance to the University Honors Program. After an eye-opening internship at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, I switched majors from Political Science to Financial Planning and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience within the department.
Name: Ross Kennedy
My positive experience at UA has been because of my professors and classmates in the financial planning program that have driven me and helped me toward graduating. Also, I have been involved in a few different groups including Sigma Chi Fraternity, Financial Planning Association, Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society, the Academic Honor Council, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, which have all allowed me to be immersed in different experiences and grow a supportive, social network around me.
Name: Brian Seelos
I transferred to UA, but have completed most of my course work here. I have thoroughly enjoyed the online nature of the classes. Having a family and a career doesn’t leave much time for school, so having the flexibility of online classes has helped me tremendously. I currently work as a financial advisor at Cannon Financial Strategists in Athens, Ga.
Name: Jacob Bunn
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time of studying at the University of Alabama. The Distance Learning program has allowed me to pursue my media career while getting a degree, which has been and will prove to be extremely beneficial. In my experiences, the professors have always been very helpful and professional.
Name: Clay Jackson
My experience at the University of Alabama has been a wonderful, even though last semester was a little rough. I started at UA in 1991 as a freshman but ultimately transferred and graduated elsewhere. The Distance Learning Program along with my GI Bill has allowed me to finally (soon) be a graduate of the University.
Name: Jan Brewer
For the past 5 years I have worked as a tax preparer at H & R Block as well as performing accounting duties for a small business. I have always loved the University of Alabama and wished that I had attended there when I was young. When I decided to pursue a degree online, I wanted it to be from a place of which I would be proud. I did not want to get a degree from just any place online. When I realized that I could get a degree from the University of Alabama, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be UA.
Name: Michael Ryan Smedley Jr.
I chose UA, because I never felt so welcomed as I did as when I toured campus. I looked at every SEC school and I never felt like I was welcomed enough and I really looked at my choices closely to see where I think I would have excelled. Financial Planning at UA is like a family - we are so close and concerned with each other, we all have kept in touch after graduation.