The Latino Business Student Association (LBSA) at UCI hosted a virtual workshop about the basics of money management, featuring the co-hosts of “The Free Retiree Show” podcast Lee Michael Murphy and Sergio Patterson, on March 30.
“The Free Retiree Show” podcast offers career and financial advice, which Murphy and Patterson have experience in due to their respective work backgrounds. Murphy is a professional wealth advisor while Patterson has spent years working as a program manager for both Facebook and LinkedIn.
“We started this show and our podcast to help give people a way to navigate and accumulate wealth, jumpstart their careers and land their dream jobs that they’ve always wanted to pursue,” Murphy said.
The first half of the workshop centered around how to prepare for and respond to questions during the interview process. Patterson introduced the “five C’s of interviewing:” making connections, being curious, giving concise answers, showing you care and staying calm.
“Try to connect on a human level first. As somebody who interviews people pretty often, I can tell you, those are the people that stand out. Those are the people that I pass to the next rounds. They are the people that I can actually connect with,” Patterson said.
Patterson particularly focused on the importance of building a network by making meaningful connections.
“I get a lot of messages on LinkedIn, where it’s just like, ‘Hey, you work at LinkedIn, I want you to refer me for this role’ [and] I have no idea who this person is … Get to know me a little bit before you start asking for something. That’s just advice from me to you, as I have an inbox full of messages from random people asking for referrals,” Patterson said.
Most of the guests in attendance were graduating seniors, so a large portion of questions from the audience asked about overcoming anxiety when applying for a first job after graduating college.
“I plan to eventually become a wealth manager as my career. I am Latino and I know that 9.5% of the Latinx community are wealth managers, so odds tend to be against me. What would you recommend how I start off right now, as a college graduate, if I want to pursue that path?” Ulises Guzman, a member of the Cal State Long Beach chapter of the LBSA, said.
To answer Guzman’s question, Patterson drew from his personal experience as a Latino working in Silicon Valley.
“That’s something I’ve dealt with my whole career in Silicon Valley … Over time, once you break in, you’ll just realize everybody’s like you. Nobody’s a rocket scientist, we’re all humans and people. So you get over that pretty quickly,” Patterson said.
Other questions from the audience were related to common concerns potential hirees have, such as negotiating salary with an employer.
“How do you go about negotiating a salary? Any tips?” an attendee named Paola Martinez said.
Patterson emphasized the importance of not being too afraid of asking for more money and establishing a fair salary.
“Early on, just make sure it’s not about the money. Make sure it’s about the fit [and] the role, then at the end of the process, they’re likely going to come back with an offer. Then you can negotiate the base pay, you can negotiate [the] signing bonus, annual bonus — lots of things you can negotiate. I think the first thing is, don’t just take the first offer. I’ve done that way too many times in my career,” Patterson said.
Murphy led the second half of the workshop and covered topics about money management, including setting up an emergency fund which he defined as three to six months of extra cash in a bank account for emergency use. Setting up an emergency fund is crucial to avoid falling into credit card debt, according to Murphy.
“The goal is you don’t want to use that money. You just want it to sit there and be there for that disaster that you can’t see — the unexpected. Maybe a family member getting sick, maybe your car going out. Could be something happening with your living situation. You need to have it there for that bad day that we don’t foresee,” Murphy said.
Murphy closed out the workshop by imparting one final message to attendees, saying that in spite of the difficulties college students face when managing finances for the first time, saving early and learning about smart spending will give them a great advantage.
“Since you guys are young, you have the power of time on your hands. Save immediately. Don’t procrastinate. It makes a massive difference,” Murphy said.
The LBSA’s Instagram account posts about upcoming events, such as workshops discussing professional skills and career advice.
Yuika Yoshida is a Campus News Apprentice for the spring 2022 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.