Beth Settje’s Financial Literacy for Your Career was a crash course in money management after graduation 


The almighty dollar makes the world go ‘round, and many, especially business students, are already well equipped to manage their finances like a well-oiled machine. What about the rest of us though? Many students have not had the opportunity to take a proper financial literacy course or learn how to get ahead in today’s fast-paced economy. Thursday’s seminar, Financial Literacy for Your Career, helped to remedy just that.  

The seminar was presented by Beth Settje, Associate Director of Experiential Learning and College to Career Transitions in the UConn Center for Career Development. Her goal was to provide a brief but comprehensive introduction to managing money as students make the shift to the workforce after graduation. In a brisk 45 minutes, Settje touched upon a wide variety of topics and provided additional resources for further study. 

Settje emphasized the shift of decision-making from a student’s pre-K through college years to after college. During the early (and current) phases of education, much of the decision-making is outside a student’s control. However, after college, there is a sudden but dramatic change in which one is granted almost complete autonomy. This vast set of new responsibilities can be overwhelming, making necessary preparation essential to succeed. 

Settje described eight main types of career competencies that recruiters and companies look for, ranging from communication and teamwork to technology and critical thinking skills. Emphasis on each competency can vary depending on the job, but just as important as what a company is looking for are the key aspects you are searching for when finding a potential job. A helpful tip is to consider absolutes, qualities that are musts for you personally. For example, you might care particularly about a job’s salary, a worksite’s location or the type of community the work provides. 

A myriad of strategies for saving money on a day-to-day basis was discussed. Purchasing store brands with unnoticeable or even no real changes from name brands is an excellent way to cut down on the ever-increasing costs of food. In addition, there are many apps and websites available to save money or get cash back from daily spending. Settje especially highlighted Ibotta, one she uses herself. 

Two budgeting techniques were presented as well. The first designates 50% of income to needs, 30% to wants and 20% for savings. The second distributes 70% of income for living expenses (including fun), 20% for savings and 10% for paying off any debt. Speaking of debt, multiple strategies were discussed for tackling the matter.  

Settje emphasized the usefulness of obtaining a credit card. In addition to building a credit score, needed to take out loans and make big purchases such as a house, most credit cards offer cash back on purchases that can add up over time.  

Even though 45 minutes was not nearly enough to cover all of the topics completely, Settje’s brief but broad presentation served as an excellent introduction to students who may had not yet been given the opportunity to learn about financial literacy. 

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