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Career Exploration Competition

Career Exploration Team Competition

Finseca and chapters of The Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP) will hold the twelfth annual Career Exploration Competition* (CEC) on the Financial ConNEXTion Educational Cruise. The competition gives teams of students from colleges and universities the opportunity to explore financial service careers by interviewing practitioners.

The title of this year's issue is:

Navigating a Career in Financial Services


If you're a college student interested in the Financial Services field, this is for you! 


- Learn from experienced professionals

- Life long lessons and applications

- Expand your network

- Work with a team of peers

- Win scholarship prizes! **

- Get your Educational Cruise expenses covered! 

For more info, keep scrolling! 

* Formerly known as the Industry Issue Competition (IIC)

** Must be coming on the Financial ConNEXTion Educational Cruise to have the chance to win prize money.

Charting a Career Journey in Financial Services

Papers submitted in response to the title must cover the following points:

     A. Two careers in the financial services profession (see following provided list) must be researched and analyzed. This must include interviewing at least eight professionals, four from each profession. Some of the interviews must be face-to-face (including Facetime or Skype). The careers should be diverse enough that unique research is required. Researchers must be able to demonstrate an understanding of what practitioners do not just the designations they may hold.

     B. Researchers must examine the benefits derived from developing and maintaining professional relationships and being active in professional associations. This may include the value derived from peer relationships and relationships with practitioners in other disciplines. Where applicable students should examine the value of belonging to professional associations such as FSP and Finseca.

     C. The research must include discussion of the good, bad, and ugly aspects of the financial service career explored. Students should identify the characteristics/traits practitioners deem important for an individual to be successful in the two professions explored.

     D. The paper should synthesize not just report the information gathered. It should not exceed 16 pages as more fully discussed below under “Paper Submission Requirements.”

The competition consists of an oral presentation in addition to the paper. Judges will have the option to select up to 5 teams to compete in the oral portion of the competition. The number of teams selected may be less than 5 teams depending on the quality of the papers submitted. By participating in the competition applicants agree to assume any risk associated with the program, including releasing the organizers from all claims of loss, damage, injury, sickness or death that may arise as a result.

   Scholarship Awards are in addition to cruise cabin expense*

1st Place – Up to $3,500
2nd Place – Up to $2,500
3rd Place - Up to $2,000
4th Place – Up to $1,750
5th Place – Up to $1,500

Questions contact Terri Getman at or 800-869-1327 ext. 230

*Scholarships checks will be made out to qualified charitable entities

TO COMPETE: Students must submit a written solution in the manner described below by midnight November 4, 2023. Teams entering the competition may be comprised of up to two undergraduate and/or graduate students per team. Students who graduate earlier in December 2023 are permitted as long as permitted by the university. A panel of judges will select up to five finalist teams with the top written solutions covered in the submitted papers. Each of the final teams selected will be from a different university. The paper will count 35% of the final decision.


FINAL ORAL COMPETITION: The plan is for the finalist teams to compete for scholarship funds in an oral competition during the unique Financial ConNEXTion Educational Cruise departing San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 24, 2024 going to the Southern Caribbean. The scholarship award will be partially based on attendance (both student & professor) at the educational meetings and group dinners conducted on the cruise. If the cruise is cancelled due to emergency the oral competition will be held by video and scholarships will be awarded.


ORAL COMPETITION CONTENT: The oral presentation will be based on how the information gathered for the paper influenced the students’ decision to either pursue, or not pursue, the 2 careers studied. PowerPoint will be optional. A team will be disqualified if a student or professor does not participate in the cruise for any reason other than medical or national emergency.


PASSPORT & COVID shots: Passports are required. 


CRUISE EXPENSES COVERED: The student finalists and professor from each university will have the cruise cabin expense for a double occupancy inside cabin covered. This includes meals in main dining, taxes, wifi, and gratuities. It does not include transportation to and from San Juan or shore excursions. Reservations must be made with Continuing Education at Seas at 800-422-0711 before December 5, 2023 (refer to Financial ConNEXTion cruise). After this date changes will be made at the then available rate. 


OTHER CRUISE ATTENDEES: Students, family and friends are invited to attend this unique cruise experience.


SIGN-UP SHEET: If you think you will be submitting a paper please complete the sign-up sheet at the end and send it to


- Sample Questions

-Submission Requirements

- Format and Writing Style




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