Exploring New Pathways Through Life

For March’s monthly membership meeting, FBLA was pleased to bring a familiar face to
speak for us. Mr. Jeter of Allegheny Financial Group brought his finance expertise to address
the members of our club this month.

Mr. Jeter is a Principal and Financial Advisor with Allegheny Financial Group. A graduate
of the University of Michigan, Mr. Jeter earned his Bachelor of Science and Administration
concentrating in finance and marketing. There he helps lead a practice that provides financial
planning and investment management resources to the families of business owners,
professionals, and executives. He is a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner and a member of
the firm’s Investment Committee. In addition to his role at Allegheny Financial, Mr. Jeter serves
on the board of the R&D Impact Foundation.

To begin with, Mr. Jeter discussed his pathway leading to finance and entrance into the
industry. He explained that having graduated from the University of Michigan, he knew he wanted to
be in the business field. Our speaker then discussed his own work experience, having been in
the field of giving investment advice for his 30th year running. He explained that Allegheny
Financial is a Pittsburgh-based company that started in 1974 and manages a collective $6
billion for people in 40 states. Mr. Jeter presented this idea to discuss the lifetime goals of these
people for whom Allegheny Financial manages their money. He explained that finance is, essentially,
the study of how money is invested based on goals, and added how his work considers portfolio
goals in a specific time frame and is a field in collaboration with people.

Our speaker transitioned to discussing the “three pillars” within finance and providing
examples from his own work experience. He posed two questions for consideration to our
members: “Think four to six years from now, out of college, what does your life look like?” and
“Being honest with yourself about your weaknesses and strengths. What do I do well?” He then
discussed the specifics of former PR-FBLA members to add consideration to his point:
Mr. Jeter talked about “Matt”, graduating from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of
Business where he entered as an undecided business major. Our speaker continued to explain
that, within his first semester, Matt shifted to focusing on Supply Chain Management for his
undergraduate. Instead, as Mr. Jeter explained he would intern at a commercial real estate
firm over the summer, and back at school, shifted his concentration to real estate. Mr. Jeter
says he now works in Washington, D.C. for a multinational real estate firm.

Our speaker continued to discuss “Anthony”, who graduated from Duquesne University
as an accounting major, later entering into a five-year master’s program. He explained that,
despite not being sure of his future career goals, Anthony continued to move forward. Coming
from a family of private business owners, as Mr. Jeter explained, Anthony was not looking to
enter a corporation but had an interest in real estate. Anthony would later join a Pittsburgh
firm for private real estate which focuses on residential housing, management of housing, as
well as buying and selling properties.

Mr. Jeter then focused on “Kate”, a graduate from Penn State with a degree in
entrepreneurship. As our speaker discussed, she kept high grades and was generally at the top
of her class. He continued, adding Kate was recruited on-campus by Amazon to join their team
in a management training program for their new distribution center opening in Charlotte, NC.
As Mr. Jeter illustrated, a condition of her program was to work on the floor for a month where
she would fulfill orders to gain a better idea of what her reports would do on a day-to-day
basis. This condition would later shift from a month to a year. Mr. Jeter added in this
circumstance, confidence is key when making life decisions. He added that Kate would decide
she was not comfortable being part of an organization that deceived and lied to its employees.
Our speaker said she now works for a tech startup that identifies new and emerging
organizations across many fields.

Finally, Mr. Jeter discussed “John”, a finance major who, during his sophomore year of
college, joined a friend, who was studying music, in a studio. Mr. Jeter explained how John’s
interest was not in the music, rather focused his attention on the studio board. He would start
mixing and mastering audio on a personal computer, and after a few sessions, those
professionals from earlier would educate him of the business behind music. He would also
explore the various revenue lines in the industry, from hourly music engineering to selling
music on the internet. John would later work for artists in Pittsburgh who paid him hourly for
his time in a studio. Mr. Jeter said his previous knowledge of people from business
concentrations, coupled with music and technology contributed to his success in the industry
and made John stand out.

After these examples, Mr. Jeter tied all four individuals together, explaining how not
one of his examples could confidently predict their occupation or life circumstances from the
time they graduated from high school. He pointed out that not very many are currently specializing
in what they had originally intended, and as various paths and opportunities presented
themselves, they explored their interests. Our speaker added that having a definite plan and
being inflexible as you explore options causes stress and should be avoided. Mr. Jeter explained
how these many avenues in life can eventually lead us to our intended majors and careers, and
we must be flexible as many cards fall into place.

Our speaker summarized his point, saying that most parents want their children to be
safe, secure, and have stable careers. He explained that everyone should shoot their shot in
life towards being happy.

PR-FBLA thanks you for returning to deliver a great presentation, Mr. Jeter.