February 25, 2021

From air control to money control Parker Jackson is moving into a new career as a Certified Financial Planner. Graduating with his undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy, Jackson has been an Officer in the Air Force for six years. His position is responsible for field operating satellites and conducting satellite launches. It was during this time he became interested in the financial planning profession and the idea of obtaining the CFP®  designation while also accomplishing an MBA, “That’s what drew me towards the Financial Planning MBA program at California Lutheran University,” Jackson said. 

He particularly liked the California Lutheran University MBA program as he thought it provided a great application of financial planning topics integrated with the financial planning industry. Jackson chose California Lutheran University to earn his CFP®  designation with his MBA as he believes that the CFP®  allows you to be informed about a broad range of topics to influence a client’s life.

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Developing a Passion for Finance

Jackson has always had an interest in finances ever since he was a child. His business owner father taught him and influenced him the most about money. At a young age, he father learned from his father to separate the money from his lawn mowing earnings into three different envelopes; saving, giving, and spending. His interest in finances continued throughout college and he took classes such as investment to explore and learn more about this topic. His greatest influence and mentor is his father who provided him the financial values and spiritual values that he lives with today. His other greatest influence is Parker Inabnet. A CFP® who opened his eyes to the process of financial planning and what he means to be a CFP®. Jackson had the opportunity to intern at his firm to learn about both the art and science aspects of financial planning.  

In five to ten years time Jackson hopes to be an experienced CFP® “helping clients achieve their lifetime goals through the process of financial planning,” he said. Jackson explained his dream job is to be an elite advisor with the ability to work with clients who want to transition their careers.  

Learning With Other Financial Planning Professionals

“I think the California Lutheran University program was very valuable, not only the knowledge that I’ve gained going through all of the classes but also the fellow students I was able to work alongside with who are experts in their field,” Jackson said. A key part and highlight of Jackson’s experience in the program has been getting to know the professors and fellow students who have a variety of different specialties. Having a network where everyone shares a common goal of being able to serve their clients in the best way possible was an important aspect for Jackson. “I think it’s been a great experience based on the instructing aspect of the course. They are small and intimate class sizes where the professors are invested in your success and are available to answer questions to help you truly understand concepts. As well as the professors having experience as financial planning practitioners, which brings in real-world applications to an academic environment,” he said. 

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Jackson described the program as challenging, but it allows you to apply yourself and put in the effort to understand the concepts and implications of applying concepts to a client’s life, he explained. After passing the CFP®  exam all the hard work is worth it, he said. Jackson hopes to graduate in Summer 2021. “I believe being a CFP®  is truly the best approach to serve a client’s needs in terms of financial planning. The financial planning program at California Lutheran provides a path to accelerate your own knowledge and understand how we can best serve clients,” Jackson said. 

Jackson lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife who is studying to become a nurse practitioner, and their young son, Hudson. In his free time, he enjoys camping, skiing, and working on his personal physical fitness. 

About Parker Jackson: 

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Graduating from the United States Air Force, Jackson is an Air Force Officer. Jackson is on track to graduate with an MBA in Financial Planning at California Lutheran University in 2021. He passed his CFP® exam while studying for his MBA. 

About the Author:

Rosie Baker is an undergraduate student at California Lutheran University, graduating in May 2021. She is studying Communication with an emphasis in PR and Advertising and has a minor in Creative Writing. In July 2020, she published her first book, Mirrors & Windows: Unlocking a New Framework to Envision Your Success, with New Degree Press.