Manny Guillen named a Schwab Scholar in Financial Planning

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Manny Guillen, a financial planning major at Virginia Tech, was working one of three summer jobs when he received news that he’d been named a Charles Schwab Foundation Scholar in Financial Planning. “I read the email and just started jumping up and down and was like ‘Yes!’” he said. “I was so excited.” Manny has been covering the cost of tuition with a combination of 529 Plan savings and student loans. The $10,000 scholarship he received will help minimize student loan debt after graduation, and the program offers more than financial assistance. Manny also receives voluntary mentorship and career opportunities as part of his award, like a guaranteed interview for the Schwab Internship Academy, a FINRA SIE voucher, and resume review and interview prep.  

“I’m most excited about the internship opportunity,” Manny explained. “My friends and I have been looking for internships, and the application process is very competitive. To be considered for an internship in a field that I’m passionate about is so great, and the way Schwab’s internship is structured is ideal. I’d be shadowing a financial planner, getting first-hand experience in the field working for a great company, and making great connections along the way.” 

The Scholars in Financial Planning endowment is one of several scholarship programs funded through Charles Schwab Foundation to develop and attract diverse talent by recruiting from underrepresented communities, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people with military backgrounds. It is one of the Board-approved diversity and inclusion efforts announced by the Schwab Executive Council last year

“I think it’s very important to diversify the financial planning field because the services offered are increasingly available to the average person. Clients want to work with someone who can relate to them, their culture, beliefs, and values. For example, a client with a certain cultural background may wish to be greeted and talked to in a different way than others. If they’re working with someone who understands this about them, they’ll feel more assured their aspirations are understood and their money is in the hands of someone they trust,” said Manny. 

Manny’s decision to pursue financial planning was inspired both by finance classes and, to a greater degree, his grandfather who was raised in poverty in a coal mining town and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to become successful. “My grandpa was a real inspiration in many ways, and he would always tell me to save and invest my money. I decided to pursue finance so I could understand how best to do that, so I can help myself, my family members, and anyone else who wishes to be financially free.” 

Manny aspires to establish a large client and colleague network where he can set himself up for success. “I want every client to trust that I’m doing the best job possible to help them achieve their financial goals. When they achieve their goals, I achieve mine,” he said. “I also want to help schools build awareness about the power of financial literacy and the role financial planning can play in people’s lives. No matter how much money you have, help from a financial planner can make all the difference in your life. Even if you have all the money in the world, you could easily go broke if you don’t know how to manage it.” 

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