Tell me about yourself
My name is Lisa Weah. I am a freshman in college and I’m from Syracuse, New York. What I like to do in my free time is read, write, spend time with my family, and go to church. I've also always wanted to become a neurosurgeon. Right now, I'm taking like a break from that and I decided to go into nursing first because the path to medical school and through residency is long before I would start working with patients. I also realized that, with the home nursing shortage right now, the workforce needs more nurses. My older sister is a nurse and I know a lot of people who are nurses as well.
A focal point for me right now is trying to re-adjust my path because I attended a four-year school up until just recently. So, I had to come back home after going to Ohio, sit down, and think about what I wanted to do. I'm going to a community college starting in January to take liberal arts, science, and math requirements to become a more competitive applicant. Then, I plan on transferring to a nursing school in New York City. It would be nice to get a lot of hands-on experience and also be able to immerse myself in campus activities. I want to know that I'm getting the best out of my education and be prepared to go directly into the workforce. All I care about is making the world a better place and also providing for those who can't provide for themselves.
How did you discover FGI?
I found out about FGI during my junior year of high school. COVID had just ended and I had a new teacher that year who wanted to prepare us for the future. She started asking me if I was interested in investing and, at that time, I was considering majoring in economics, so I told her that I was interested in learning about marketing, business, and economics. She recommended FGI and mentioned that Syracuse University was holding a chapter. Once I signed up, I realized that it was the perfect thing for me because I'm a first-generation college student and I've always wanted to invest. My parents weren't able to teach me much about financial literacy only because their knowledge is limited and after the pandemic, I was just focusing on so many other things that I wasn't sure if I was ever going to be able to get started with investing. But I realized that FGI was perfect and I even told it to my teacher and he was like, yeah, you should do this.
What was your favorite aspect of FGI?
My favorite part was doing the capstone because it allowed us to apply our knowledge and see how far we came and how much we performed. It was nice for me to realize that I knew more because I do plan on investing - I just recently made my Public account [students set up investment accounts using Public.com]. Making the portfolio was another favorite part because I remember the amount of attention and detail that went into it and how I looked up different stats like the risk of each stock. I actually ended up putting most of my money in a couple of mutual funds and treasuries. I also invested in both Apple and Johnson & Johnson. I liked making the capstone because having a chance to explain my portfolio was really nice. I got to show everyone what I learned and how grateful I was that I got to be a part of the program, which everyone appreciated and enjoyed.
What was your biggest discovery or learning during FGI?
I really enjoyed that the students tutoring were so open with us about their majors and school experiences. Not all of them had majored in finance, and they told us about why they were doing FGI and why investing is important and I related to that. Also, I really enjoyed the lesson plans because it was a time to talk about all the bits and pieces of investing. I got to learn about stocks, bonds, markets, mutual funds, and hedge funds. I realized that what I knew before wasn't the full story. I also enjoyed just coming every week and being split out into our own groups. Every single week we would do full group lessons first and then branch off into our little groups. My instructor Julia was super nice and the other students in the groups were nice as well.
How did the program change the way that you had traditionally thought about finance and investing?
I realized that a little goes a long way and the sooner you start, the better. Over time, the market will basically give you interest over what you've put in and that can be really big depending on if you've invested a lot, or it can be like little if you only invested a little, but either way it’s still money. I definitely will save more and put that towards investing because my plans are geared towards starting a family and making a living... I want to be able to live comfortably and also take care of the ones around me.
Anything else you would like to share to those who have participated in or supported a program like this?
I think more students should consider doing FGI because you go in knowing nothing and come out knowing almost everything. You get to meet people who care about finance and you hear their side of the story, and I think that it's eye-opening because sometimes people don't know what they want to do when they grow up. Meeting with people who have a degree in Finance isn't so bad because there are a lot of things to learn and it can be really difficult without help. It’s great to meet people who know finance.