November 2019

Meet Jack Kirby, a 4+1 student who started his graduate degree early in his undergraduate career due to the 4+1 program offered at California Lutheran University. Kirby graduated with a degree in Accounting in May 2019 and is now pursuing an MBA in Financial Planning, as well as working for Wells Fargo Advisor as a Client Service Associate, and he is also an assistant coach to the water polo team.

With an initial goal of working for the FBI in forensic accounting, Kirby now hopes to be a financial planner in the next three to five years after completing his MBA at Cal Lutheran and getting his CFP® certification. He also hopes he will be working with a strong team either within his own business or as part of a team. After doing an internship during his undergraduate career, he decided accounting was not the right path for him, although he is thankful for having a good understanding of business because of his major.

Working on the VCLA Pro Bono Project

As an undergraduate, Kirby had the opportunity to work on the Ventura County Lodging Association (VCLA) Pro Bono Project, which partnered with Cal Lutheran, to design, develop, and administer a Request for Proposal (RFP) of short term asset management services. He worked on a team of six graduate students alongside professionals. 

“It was really great time because there was a lot of research involved, not just financially but by looking at metrics within businesses and the hotel industry in Ventura and nationwide. There was a lot of great leadership on the team, too, so when it came to writing legal documents, we found we had some great direction and coaching from team members,” said Kirby.

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He highly recommends this experience or one similar to it because it “gives you a taste of what it means to be a part of a work team, but it also gives you a great experience forming contracts, writing professional letters and papers.” He believes that for someone at his age, participating in an experience like this is “hugely beneficial for your professional development.”

Role Models as a Cal Lutheran Undergraduate 

“Getting outside your comfort zone is huge,” said Kirby. One of Kirby’s role models over the years at Cal Lutheran was a fellow water polo teammate – Mats Albins. Albins, originally from Norway, came to Cal Lutheran for his undergraduate degree before going to Boston to attend his dream college for graduate school, “I applaud anybody that has the ability to do that. I think it’s incredible,” said Kirby.

Kirby played for both the water polo team and swim team during his undergraduate career at California Lutheran University. Joking that he learned “how to swim basically before I learned how to walk,” the water has played a large part in helping shape Kirby’s life so far. He said it has taught him the importance of teamwork and hard work, along with how to be efficient with time and how to take on large workloads, overall helping him “prepare for the work world.” It also allowed him to travel to Australia for nearly two months when he was just 16 years old.

During his time at Cal Lutheran, Kirby heard two pieces of advice that affected him. The first was, “it’s all mental; everything starts up in your head. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, it’s like a sandcastle; it starts to fall apart. But if you are able to just tell yourself I can do it, over and over again, it’s like a little train.” 

The second piece of information was, “don’t be afraid to say no.” What Kirby misses the most about Cal Lutheran are the relationships he built with professors and peers over the years, “I think the relationships that were built here are the most important part of the past years in college,” said Kirby. 

“I think overall, the experience of the Financial Planning Program has been priceless. I wouldn’t want to go do this anywhere else, and for that reason, I’m grateful,” said Kirby, who has already recommended the California Lutheran University Financial Planning Program to others. Not only does he enjoy the experiences he is having, but there are “people there to help you and that is willing to work with you to shape your future in any way possible.”

If you are interested in Financial Planning and want to learn more about the MBA in Financial Planning program or undergraduate Financial Planning minor. Reach out to the Financial Planning Program here at California Lutheran University for more information. 

About the Speaker:

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Jack Kirby, a 4+1 student who graduated from California Lutheran University in May 2019 with a degree in Accounting. He is now pursuing a master’s in financial planning, as well as working for Wells Fargo Advisor as a Client Service Associate, and he is also an assistant coach to the water polo team since the Fall of 2019.

rosieAbout 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.