Student membership program offers life lessons for seniors
Sarah Ann McCormick helped
put together a poster about
the logistics of getting married
for the GAA’s recent Good to
Know Expo. “Spell out your
proposal with refrigerator magnets,” was among the lighter suggestions she found in her timely
research (she was recently
McCormick, a professional The GAA and its student mem-
committee co-chair of the bership advisory board sponsored a Good to Know Expo in
GAA’s student membership April, offering students a chance
advisory board, also included to talk with experts about real-world basics, including budget-
information for graduating sen- ing, buying real estate, planning
iors about what to wear to a a career and buying a car.
wedding and how to buy an The GAA co-spon-engagement ring. sored the event with
And while she helped set up the class of 2007 mar-and plan the walk-through shals. “We got a
event to educate seniors about respectable response,”
the practicalities of life after said Zack Jackson ’05
graduation — including information on (MA), then-coordinator of student proinvestments, retirement benefits, health grams who recently left the GAA to join
insurance plans and buying a car or, even, AmeriCorps in Washington, D.C.
a house — she found herself learning a Students were provided with a list of
thing or two as well. possible questions in subjects such as budget-
“What do we do when we’re $25,000 in ing, real estate and car buying, and then
debt five years down the road?” she asked at they could peruse at will. “They don’t
a booth about loans, as she was concerned know that they need to be asking these
about the college debt she and her fiance questions,” Jackson said.
will accrue. Rob Larson ’ 93, a financial adviser with
The Good to Know Expo, held April a brokerage firm, ran a popular booth on
23, invited area experts to the Carolina investments. Students asked him about
Union to give students the chance to ask 401(k) accounts and the differences among
them face-to-face questions about life’s types of IRAs. “I’ve been actually sharing
logistics. Drawing 224 students and 11 vol- the same information that I share with my
unteer representatives — seven of them clients,” Larson said. He encourages stu-alumni — the expo was the first time the dents to get in the habit of investing —
GAA had held a question-and-answer ses- about $50 a month is good — which is
sion about life after college. advice he takes himself.
The expo replaced a money manage- Liz Lee ’07 found out about health
ment lecture that, held for the past three insurance at the expo.
years, had experienced low turnout. “We “I knew I needed it,” she said. “[But] I
knew we needed to do something differ- wasn’t exactly sure how much it would run
ent,” said Brianna Gillikin, professional per month.” She had a job lined up as an
committee co-chair. analyst in a financial firm in New York, a
The committee invited about 25 alumni step into the real world that had her feeling
to have lunch and speak to students. The a little nervous. “It’s exciting, but it’s kind of
alumni, as “goodwill representatives,” aimed scary,” she said. ■
to inform students, not sell them anything.
is a benefit of
in the General
look for it three
times a year —
with your copy
of the Carolina
Endeavors is published by the
University’s Office of Research
and Economic Development.
Questions about your GAA
membership? Call us at
(800) 962–0742 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us
on the Web at alumni.unc.edu.