Member Spotlight: Cherie Stueve, MBA, CPA (Inactive), AFC® is currently a PhD Student in the Personal Financial Planning Program at Kansas State University. She was a 2011 recipient of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program. Below Cherie shares with us how she transitioned into the field of financial counseling, her experiences in the Military Spouse Fellowship program and her goals for the future.
How did you first learn about the Military Spouse Fellowship program and what inspired you to apply?
Another Coast Guard spouse in the program recommended the Fellowship. I had recently attended a financial counselor training workshop and was looking for my next step to shift my career from accounting. I believe in the education, experience and endorsement that professional accreditations represent so the AFC® was in perfect alignment.
Share with us some of the work you did for your practicum hours or an experience that you found inspiring.
I wanted to help military families and that is the goal of the Fellowship program. I enjoyed creating and delivering a 5-part workshop series for a large Coast Guard unit in California. The senior enlisted service members really opened up about their past money mistakes and were surprisingly emotional when encouraging the younger service members not to make the same mistakes regarding credit cards, overpriced cars and waiting to participate in the Thrift Savings Program (TSP). Creating an environment where these members felt safe to share added to the impact of the workshop.
I have been a Mentor with the Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. HOPE program (Helping Ourselves Prosper Economically) since 2012. Meeting with HOPE families routinely for an entire year to build their financial capability continues to be one of my favorite volunteer activities.
You have a strong foundation of financial knowledge through your education in accounting and the AFC program. Now you are a PhD student in the Personal Financial Planning Program at Kansas State University. Is there an area of research you are focusing on?
The K-State program is designed to give students opportunities to partner with faculty on a variety of topics in both quantitative and qualitative methods. I have a wide range of interests but have started to narrow it down for my dissertation.
My broad concept is the decision-making process of parents when they transfer (or not transfer) financial assets to their young adult children. Some working parents struggle with balancing their own needs and wanting to assist their adult children in their 20s and 30s. Then the question becomes how to keep peace in the family when one child has different needs than another. I believe this is a relevant and fascinating topic to explore.
What do you hope to do with your education and experience upon graduation?
That’s the million dollar question! Everything! I love the one-on-one dynamic of financial counseling. I want to teach at the college level and put all these new research skills to use. I feel the opportunities are endless, especially as the fields of financial counseling and financial therapy continue to evolve. This is an exciting time to be involved in the personal finance arena.
You’re planning to attend the 2014 Annual Symposium again this November. As a repeat attendee, what are you looking forward to the most?
The AFCPE Symposium is a wonderful mix of practitioners, educators and researchers – as both attendees and presenters. Where else would I be able to meet so many of the researchers I am studying in my K-State program? In addition, I enjoy the face-to-face time with other FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows that I correspond with online during the year.
If you are interested in connecting with Cherie around her research or her experiences as a Military Spouse Fellow, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a Member of AFCPE and would like to share your work in the field or network with other members, email email@example.com.