Abbey Davis ’18 has a passion for helping others with their financial needs. As a senior Agricultural Economics major from Sugarland, Texas, Davis has served as an officer for the Financial Planning Student Association, volunteered as a Peer Advisor at the Money Education Center, and taught elementary-aged children in the Brazos Valley about money matters through Junior Achievement.
Her money mindset was influenced at a young age by her grandfather who taught her that the amount of money you have is not nearly as important as what you actually do with it. This lesson has stuck with Davis throughout college and is the main reason why she is pursuing a minor in financial planning.
“I’ve always been responsible with my money through budgeting and saving what I can, but being part of the financial planning program has really made me think about my future goals and what I can do with my money,” Davis said.
Instead of putting money away with no goal in mind, Davis reminds herself each time she moves money into her savings account that she can use the money towards her first home, retirement, or even open a Roth IRA.
The Marshmallow Experiment
One of Davis’ highlights during her time in college has been her involvement with Junior Achievement. This nation-wide program pairs volunteers with a local school and gives the volunteer an opportunity to teach school-aged children about basic financial literacy concepts, the value of money, the importance of saving money and the difference between needs and wants.
Davis recalled that while volunteering at a local elementary school, one of her favorite experiences was the “Marshmallow Experiment”. She explained that she gave each student one marshmallow, and if they did not eat it or mess it up, they would receive an additional marshmallow.
However, if they ate the initial marshmallow, then they would not get a second marshmallow.
“I read them a story [while they waited] and watched the kids rock back and forth, stare at their marshmallow, poke at it, while others covered their eyes trying to pretend it wasn’t there,” Davis said. “But ultimately, all of the kids except one or two resisted eating their marshmallow.”
Those who waited were even more excited to receive their second marshmallow.
“The lesson for the day was that if you save money and resist the temptation to spend what you save, then you will have more in the future,” Davis said.
Classroom to Career
Davis’ passion for helping others and financial planning led to a summer 2017 internship with Carter Wealth Management in Dallas. She was able to put classroom knowledge to use while learning about day-to-day activities in a financial planning firm.
Davis found that it was extremely important to ask questions, not only to learn more about the industry, but to also improve her quality of work.
“There were two big lessons I learned during my internship: never say no to a task and look for the jobs people don’t want to do,” Davis said.
When Davis graduates in a few weeks, she will join the Carter Wealth Management team full time.
“Financial planners aren’t just running numbers. They really are helping you plan out your future and reach your goals in a way that you can feel comfortable with,” Davis said. “There are so many things in my life that have only been accomplished because of good financial planning, and I want to be able to impact people in that same way.”