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Deakin’s financial planning students keep up-to-date with industry insights.

Industry trends, market updates, emerging technology and career opportunities were amongst a wide range of key topics at the recent Financial Planning Professional Development Day.

Held at the Deakin Downtown corporate centre, the event attracted over 50 undergraduate and postgraduate financial planning students who attended practical sessions by leading financial planning practitioners, industry and professional associations.

Organiser Dr Campbell Heggen (Deakin Business School) says the event had a two-fold purpose.

‘Firstly, it was to introduce and familiarise students with the concept of continuing education. Professional development days are of increased importance within the profession, so it’s essential that our graduates understand the need to keep up-to-date with all the technical requirements,’ he explains.

‘Second, many of the professional speakers on the agenda represented our industry sponsors and partners. These are the businesses who sponsor our student scholarships and prizes, and also provide our students with work-integrated learning opportunities. So it was a great opportunity for our partners to meet with our students.’

Dr Heggen says that change is the ‘standard’ within the financial planning profession with amendments to rules and regulations regularly coming into play.

‘Depending on the relevant economic data, some of these are minor, but at just about every federal budget we have significant changes made to the investment, taxation or superannuation environment so it’s critically important to stay up-to-date.’

The day’s first session saw fund managers, superannuation specialists and behavioural analysts present on current market trends and regulatory updates while the following session focused on employability skills.

‘We had a HR expert, representatives from professional associations and also some small business owners who spoke about what they’re looking for in graduates and also provided general advice about career opportunities,’ says Dr Heggen.

One of the highlights, he says, was the final session which was a curated panel discussion on the emerging area of financial technology.

‘It’s very important for our graduates to understand the way in which emerging technology impacts the financial planning profession, so we brought in some fairly large fin-tech and robo-advice providers to talk not only about what they’re doing in the space, but also the way in which they hope to work with financial advisors – rather than replace them. For the students it was very much about awareness, where technology is taking the profession and the opportunities this creates.’

Student feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive and Dr Heggen says that the industry partners were delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Deakin students.

‘We actually had a donor breakfast before the event which gave scholarship recipients the opportunity to meet sponsors and representatives from each of the businesses and then interact with them during the day. There’s a lot of good faith in the industry and a lot of people who want to give back.’

Presenters included: