Lillie Perry

Lillie Perry pursues the personal side of finance

Lillie Perry has found her home in the tight-knit financial counseling and planning major.

Lillie has always been good with numbers, so she knew she wanted to pursue a career that would put her left-brain to work. While she was in the process of picking a major, a family friend who worked in finance introduced Lillie to the world of financial counseling.

She enjoyed the idea of helping people through financial struggles so they can live fully and with less stress. Lillie’s main goal is to pursue the “personal side of finances.”

“My goal is to be really people-focused and not just [focused] on their money,” Lillie said. “I want to make sure they can live their lives to the fullest and not have to think about money.”

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) Ames Student Chapter has brought Lillie closer to people in her major and in the professional world.

The ISU FPA student chapter was founded last year and since then has brought financial counseling and planning majors together to travel and explore what futures their degree can bring them. Members have made several trips to Des Moines and visited financial and brokerage firms to make connections and shadow professionals.

“You can do so much with our major, so it’s cool to see the different places you can work,” Lillie said.

Lillie gets to pursue financial planning professionally as a student by working part-time as a peer educator in the Student Loan Education Office on campus.

“Working with Financial Aid has shown me that I like to work with money and numbers and problem solving,” she said. “It’s also a great way to help people and make connections.”

At the Student Loan Education Office, Lillie provides counseling and advice to students who are taking out their first private loans, as well as seniors who are leaving Iowa State with loans. She gets satisfaction from helping her fellow students conquer their financial situation and making loans less daunting.

“It’s such a good feeling when it just clicks with [students],” Lillie said. “You feel like you’re really helping people.”