Business students’ workshop aims to improve financial literacy


Eduardo Castillo

Seniors Miguelangel Gallo, Lane Smith and Evaristo Ibarra create a budget to demonstrate the importance of budgeting.

Three seniors in the W. Frank Barton School of Business have developed and will host a personal finance workshop on campus.

Business management majors Miguelangel Gallo and Lane Smith, along with accounting major Evaristo Ibarra, hope their workshop will inform other students about the importance of basic personal finance and how it affects their lives.

The students came up with the idea for the workshop while working on a group assignment. 

Smith said he felt like more people needed to be educated on finance.

“I thought that’d be a great way to collaborate,” Smith said. “We had talked about it and we figured that the best way would be to create a team and put the two together to educate young adults on finance.”

The group voiced their concerns over the lack of personal finance knowledge among college students.

“I kind of learned that not a lot of people know very much about finance,” Smith said.

Gallo said the financial literacy taught to high school students is not sufficient.

“The material is outdated,” he said. “There’s other things that they should teach you about financial literacy, like how to create a budget, career paths, how to increase your income, and when to look for a new job.”

The workshop is being geared towards the WSU student population, USD 259 students, and families within the area. Smith said the group wants to expand on the public education about financial literacy already being provided rather than detract from it.

“This is more of a supplement. We really just want to be a helpful resource and take advantage of the situation at hand and hopefully help some people out,” Smith said.

 The group said they hope to give broad information that can apply to a variety of financial situations that students might be in.

 “These are just merely suggestions,” Smith said. “It’s something that we’ve learned from our experience with budgeting at such a young age and trying to figure out our own financial situations.”

 “With rough financial experiences, you’re forced to budget,” Ibarra added. “From there on, it leaves you better prepared for the future knowing that you have the right knowledge.”

The workshop will be conducted in a simulation form, in which the participants will begin with a certain amount of income and will have to budget for expenses and deductions.

The group hopes to reach out to other communities around the city that may need personal finance knowledge.

“We don’t necessarily want it for a grade. We want it to help people,” Smith said. “The end goal is to help and reach way more people than just incoming college and high school students.”

The group has goals of expanding their workshop to other topics such as how to prepare for an interview, finding a mentor, and how to apply for the right jobs.

“This is the beginning, but we want to make this into something more,” Gallo said. “With finance, it is a crucial first step, because if you’re not financially stable, it’s going to be very hard for you to move onto the next step.”

 The first personal finance workshop will be hosted at 12 p.m. on Oct. 21 in RSC 245.