July 19, 2021
When Anne Wittig was in second grade, her father taught her sister and herself how to budget. This is a skill that Wittig used as an undergraduate at college and the jobs that followed. “I learned how much of a privilege it was. I saw friends and co-workers struggling to try to learn how to budget when they were in the midst of a financial crisis,” she said. Since then, Wittig has found a passion for helping others understand budgeting better and even came second place in the California Lutheran University PRiME competition for her submission on it.
Wittig discovered her passion for helping others with finances after volunteering for a year with LEVN (Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network). “My experiences during my year of service led me to begin budget coaching, which is like life coaching for budgets,” she explained. Realizing she wanted to gain more knowledge and more experience with finances, Wittig looked for a financial planning program. With family connections to PLTS (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), California Lutheran University was an “obvious choice” for Wittig to further her education in a Master of Science degree, saying she “didn’t even look anywhere else.”
Following Her Financial Planning Passion
Currently studying at California Lutheran University for her M.S. in Financial Planning, Wittig is planning to take the CFP ® exam in November 2021. She wants to earn her CFP ® designation to help others better their financial management and change it from being a roadblock to being a tool to achieve their goals. During her time as an undergraduate, Wittig studied Ethnic Studies, Economics, and Philosophy at Mills College, Oakland, CA. A fun fact about her time as an undergrad is that Wittig was president and co-founder of Insani-Tea, a tea club where students could study and have tea together.
Wittig currently works at Abacus Planning Group due to help from faculty member, Dr. Chia-Li Chien. After Wittig spoke with Dr. Chien about seeking part-time work to begin gaining the necessary experience for the CFP ® certification, Dr. Chien helped her make an introduction to Abacus Planning Group. “I want to be like her in the industry, she’s awesome. She wants what is best for the students to help them achieve their highest potential. I would not have applied to the PRiME competition if I had not been encouraged,” Wittig said.
Wittig won second place in the third annual PRiME competition held by California Lutheran University. According to the California Lutheran University website, the PRiME competition is described as, “bringing the vision and spirit of the global Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) into our local school-wide initiative aiming to build awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our School of Management PRiME Competition! We are proud to say we significantly increased our worldwide exposure by more than doubling our voters who participated in the People’s Choice Award virtual voting!”
Originally her submission started as a research proposal from her behavioral finance class. She began designing a financial product to help train and motivate beginning savers who are starting their journey. Her submission to the PRiME competition explored the reasons why individuals don’t always use rationality to make financial decisions and why changing financial behavior involves more than increasing financial literacy. “I want to continue the research. I actually have an outline for the rest of the paper up until the point at which I will need to be gathering data,” she said excitedly.
Advice to Others
Her advice to others thinking about taking the financial planning program at California Lutheran University is to “take the opportunity to network at CLU. My experience of the program is that people are interested in helping one another succeed. I’ve made a lot of connections that I will stay in touch with, they are really fantastic people,” she said.
“Overall, it’s been such a fascinating and empowering process to be able to be a part of; I’ve enjoyed working with people from all over the country and world who come together for this common purpose,” she said.
About Anne Wittig:
Anne Wittig graduated from Mills College with majors in Ethnic Studies and Economics. Since then, she has worked in various roles but most recently she works at Abacus Planning Group. She is currently studying for her M.S. in Financial Planning and plans to sit for the CFP ® exam in November 2021.
About the Author:
Rosie Baker graduated Magna Cum Laude from California Lutheran University in May 2021 with honors and departmental distinction. Her bachelor’s degree is in Communication emphasizing in PR and Advertising, minoring 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.