The purpose of the 2012 F.I.R.E. Symposium is to educate students about the career opportunities in financial services and insurance and real estate firms as well as provide an afternoon seminar to small business owners regarding retirement plans and where to get qualified help in administrating them.
“The difficult part is that it’s not just the whole retirement thing that intimidates many, but the planning that goes with it”, said Kenneth Lovell, UTPA economics and finance lecturer. “Most people don’t think about retirement until they are in their 50s.”
The first session will inform students about all types of jobs in the areas of finance, marketing, human resources and accounting within the various insurance fields.
“We want to educate the students on what opportunities are out there,” said Katherine Hoy, UTPA business major. “Students may think that their degrees are one note but there are a variety of fields you can get into even if you aren’t a business major.”
The second session will target the small business community on the advantages of preparing and setting up retirement for owners and their employees.
“Right now we’re looking at the baby boomers requiring more information on retirement and one of the biggest problems that we’re seeing today is that the Hispanic community is not prepared for retirement,” said Lovell. “Almost all of the different research I am seeing is showing the Hispanic community is the least prepared of all the baby boomers, if you break it down by ethnicity.”
Lovell said the insurance industry needs more people who understand the Hispanic community due to the cultural aspects that come into why people save and don’t save for retirement.
“We need more Hispanics to help service this need, so having members of the Hispanic community, UTPA especially, with our students coming into the insurance industry, they can help develop products and help insurance and retirement groups understand the Hispanic culture,” he said.
NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) of the Valley is donating a check to the F.I.R.E. Symposium.
Also, as part of the symposium, COBA invites all UTPA students to compete in the State Farm Managing Risk Through Simple Solutions Program video contest. More than $4,500 in cash prizes will be awarded.
The purpose of the contest is to encourage UTPA students to be more aware of safety and risk issues and to creatively identify solutions that will reduce risks associated with driving, home and personal finances.
Students can visit www.utpa.edu/cobamap/sfcontest for more information regarding the purpose of the competition, judging criteria for the videos, entry form, and instructions about uploading videos.
All video submissions must be uploaded to YouTube by Monday, Feb. 27. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded during a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 8.
For more information, contact Lovell at (956) 665-3354.