Career Exploration Competition

Career Exploration Team Competition

The Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP) in conjunction with our main sponsor Gasaway Investment Advisors, Inc. will hold the tenth 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 Troubled Waters 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 professional career paths (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 for each.  Researchers should demonstrate an understanding of what practitioners actually do in their careers not just the designations they may hold.

     B. The importance of belonging to and being active in a professional association to career success must be examined.  The value provided by at least three professional associations, including the Society of FSP (where applicable), should be researched in terms of the type of members that belong and the benefits provided to practitioners.

     C. Researchers must examine and provide insights into the benefits derived from
developing and maintaining professional relationships.
This may include but not be
limited to the value derived from peer relationships, relationships with practitioners in
other related disciplines, and participation in formal/informal study groups.

     D. The research must cover the subject of how professionals progress in the careers selected.  Students should investigate whether the professionals in each of the careers have similar backgrounds, education, and career paths.

    E. 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.”  

Scholarship Awards:

 (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 952-232-8095

TO COMPETE: Students must submit a written solution in the manner described below
by midnight April 2, 2021.
Teams entering the competition may be comprised of
up to two undergraduate and/or graduate students per team. 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.

FINAL ORAL COMPETITION: The finalist teams will compete for scholarship funds in an
oral competition during the Society of Financial Service Professionals’ (FSP) unique
Financial ConNEXTion Educational Cruise on board the Royal Caribbean’s
Serenade of the Seas departing from Vancouver, BC on September 12 going to Alaska and returning September 19, 2021. The scholarship award will be partially based on attendance at the educational meetings conducted on the cruise because part of the value of the program is the exposure gained by meeting professionals and participating in the education. 

PASSPORT: Passports are recommended.

CRUISE EXPENSES COVERED: The student finalists and professor from each university
will have the cruise cabin expense for a double occupancy inside cabin covered!
includes meals in main dining, taxes, and gratuities. It does not include transportation to
and from Ft. Lauderdale or shore excursions. Changes to these reservations must be
made with Tina at 727-642-2583 before 6/1/21 (refer to Financial ConNEXTion cruise) to
get the group discount rate. After this date changes will be made at the then available
rate. (For additional information on the September 12-19, 2021 cruise go to

OTHER CRUISE ATTENDEES: Students, family and friends are invited to attend this
unique cruise experience. Flyer about the cruise is attached at the end.


SIGN-UPSHEET:  If you think you will be submitting a paper please complete the sign-up sheet at the end and send it to  at the time you start the research.


CONFERENCE CALL: Two conference calls will occur in early September to provide insight and answer questions professors or students might have concerning the competition.  



Note: At least four practitioners must be interviewed for each career path selected
for research. If you need help identifying practitioners contact Terri Getman JD,
CLU, ChFC, RICP, AEP at 952-232-8095 or


Financial Planning/Investments
Careers Interfacing with Consumers or Advisors

          • Financial Planner (Fee Based, Commission Based, Fee Only)
          • Stock Broker/Investment Advisor
          • Mutual Fund Wholesaler

 Careers in Supporting Roles within Financial Service Entity

          • Stock Analyst
          • Portfolio Counselor/Manager
          • Internal Marketing

Insurance/Employee Benefits

Careers Interfacing with Consumers or Advisors

          • Life and Health Insurance Broker
          • Employee Benefits Broker
          • General Insurance Broker/Personal Lines
          • Pension Administrator/Third Party Administrator
          • Insurance Wholesaler/Group Rep
          • Retirement Income Certified Professional

Careers in Supporting Roles within Financial Service Entity

          • Home Office Marketing Department
          • Sales Case Design Support/Home Office Underwriter/Customer Service
          • Home Office Advanced Marketing
          • Internal Marketing


Careers Interfacing with Consumers or Advisors

          • CPA/Tax Accountant/Business Evaluation Specialist
          • Estate planning, elder law, tax or business attorney
          • Trust officer/professional fiduciaries

Careers in Supporting Roles within Financial Service Entity

          • Pension Actuary
          • Insurance Actuary

(The above are examples of career paths to be considered.)



- Sample Questions

-Submission Requirements

- Format and Writing Style