Zack Van Zant Spotlight
- Sydney Windhorst
- Monday, November 1st, 2021
Many Mahurin Honors College (MHC) scholars strive to combine their skills with their passion for serving others, and Zack Van Zant (MHC ‘15) has certainly accomplished that. During his time at WKU, he was an active member in the MHC, helping guide first-year scholars for multiple years as an H4 counselor. Since his graduation in 2015 with his Bachelor’s in Finance with a concentration in financial planning, Zack has likewise guided countless people and families to take control of their finances.
How does such a career begin? Funny enough, it can start with an offer to clean bathrooms as Zack says.
“My roommate’s dad was a financial planner back where I'm from (Oldham County area). I contacted him and offered to come clean his bathrooms in exchange for an internship opportunity. Luckily, he didn't have me clean his bathrooms, but he did employ me as an intern periodically the next three years. By the time I was a senior, he offered me a job.” Zack mentioned that he encourages scholars to actively seek out opportunities and to utilize the network of people around you as a resource.
Finding a career is something each college scholar is working towards, but Zack says his career is truly a passion.
“I think this job gives me an opportunity to do what I feel like the Lord has blessed me with. I feel like it gives me an opportunity to do that well, but also genuinely help people to be good stewards of their money. I have these resources, how do I use them to serve others while also providing for my family. So that's why I do what I do. It's, it's fulfilling, and it's nice to be able to actually feel like you're helping people in a tangible way.”
So what advice does a financial planner have for college students?
“I think at the base level, just spend less than you make. I think especially for college students that it can be kind of hard to wrap their heads around, because they may not be making anything. They may have a pool of money that they get from mom and dad or that they saved working in high school, which was more like what I did. It comes down to a focus on budgeting and a recognition of what is coming in and what is going out. It is important to track what you're spending, that way you're gonna know exactly what that kind of waterline is in your bank account. If you don’t track what you’re spending, or what your income is, you will have no concept of how to save or how much you’re saving. This means you will never meet your financial goals. Even if you don't have an income or a job, you can still budget and know exactly what you're spending and optimize that kind of cash outflow. In summary, scholars should strive to spend less than they make and plan for the future. I think if you're doing those two things, you'll get a long way with your finances.”
Want to learn more from Zack? His top tips are just a click away at https://www.zackvanzant.com/.