For the third consecutive year, Wipfli LLP (Wipfli), a national accounting and consulting firm, partnered with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC
(Wipfli Hewins), a national investment advisory firm and affiliate of Wipfli, to participate in Money Smart Week®
and teach financial literacy to students across the city of Chicago. Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign devoted to helping consumers better manage their personal finances through public seminars covering a wide variety of educational topics.
This year, Wipfli and Wipfli Hewins broadened the scope of their sessions to include cybersecurity, an issue that has captured international attention due to highly publicized breaches at companies like Equifax and Target. In his session, “Protecting Your Online Identity,” Matt Janoski
, manager and IT examiner at Wipfli, presented to seventh- and eighth-grade students of Chicago’s Walt Disney Magnet School on cybersecurity best practices, including hackers’ motivations, what information to keep private and common warning signs for identifying scam emails. “With the internet such a huge presence in our everyday lives, it’s become essential to educate preteens and teens about online safety and security issues,” says Janoski, who also gave students an insider’s look into his own career path and tips for getting into the cybersecurity field.
Walt Disney Magnet School students also received a crash course in the basics of saving, investing, budgeting and goal-setting in “Smart Teens, Smart Money,” presented by Wipfli Hewins’ Chief Strategy Officer Gretchen Halpin
and co-Chief Investment Officer Rafia Hasan
. Halpin and Hasan also challenged students with a contest, which encouraged them to take action on the knowledge and skills learned from the session. The winner will be treated to a pizza party, plus new supplies for their classroom.
In their final session of the week, the two firms headed to Loyola University Chicago to educate college students and aspiring professionals on the value of a career in the financial services industry. In “Becoming a CPA and CFP® Professional,” Thomas Guzi
, a certified public accountant and senior manager at Wipfli, and Marshall Lund
, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and financial advisor at Wipfli Hewins, helped students understand the day-to-day responsibilities associated with each career and what to look for in an internship and full-time position. “Finding the ‘right fit’ in an employer is so critical, especially for young professionals,” says Lund. “We want to emphasize how important it is for students to educate themselves, not only through formal education and professional designations but on the various career opportunities available in the marketplace.”