WKU student-athlete prepares for career in financial planning
- Author: Riley Jones
- Author: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
Aairiona Hayden-Ransom came to WKU to be a Division 1 athlete, but will leave the Hill having created career opportunities for herself in the finance field.
A senior from Lexington, Hayden-Ransom is a Finance major on the Financial Planning track. She has been a student-athlete for her entire time at WKU as a member of the Track and Field and Cross Country teams.
“I started running track when I was in eighth grade,” Hayden-Ransom said. “I didn’t start running cross country until I came to college. I was a sprinter during most of my running career. When I came to college, I then switched to the 4 [hundred meter race] and the 8 [hundred meter race].”
After turning down other Division 1 offers from schools like Xavier and Columbia, Hayden-Ransom chose to attend WKU because of its location and the ability to utilize the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship. After her first year on the Hill as a biology major, she switched to finance within the WKU Gordon Ford College of Business.
“A lot of my family members have had successful businesses, and seeing what it takes to have a successful one kind of led me to the business industry,” Hayden-Ransom said. “I had always been interested in the financial markets, which is why I believe finance is the best field for me. I also knew that I wanted to help people – the best way to do that in the finance field is to be a financial advisor in my opinion.”
Over the past three years, Hayden-Ransom has seized opportunities to be of service to others and to advance herself professionally. She has served on the WKU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the past two years, an opportunity that came from her coach’s recommendation.
“As a member of the committee, we mostly help make decisions for athletes,” Hayden-Ransom said. “We also participate in several community service events. One is a drive called ‘Hope for Soap,’ where we collected toiletries for Hope House here in Bowling Green.”
Outside of the sports realm, Hayden-Ransom has taken advantage of opportunities within the WKU Gordon Ford College of Business.
“I’ve had some career coaching with Adrianne Browning,” she said. Browning is the Professional Development Specialist for the WKU Gordon Ford College of Business.
“We’ve had a few mock interviews, and she’s looked over my resume a couple of times,” said Hayden-Ransom. “I’ve also used the professional clothes closet a lot.” The Peak Professional clothes closet events provide students with an entire professional outfit free of charge.
Hayden-Ransom has already created opportunities to develop her future through completing internships, both of which she has done remotely in 2020.
“My first internship I received through a professional acquaintance who later became my mentor,” Hayden-Ransom said. “I met her through a networking event. Last semester, right around this time, I went to a conference at WKU South Campus. The lady I ended up working for was there, and we had a nice conversation and switched business cards. I sent her a thank you note in the mail, and she just really appreciated that. This summer, she reached out to me on LinkedIn and said she was looking for an intern and she wanted me to apply.”
The internship was with Natural Investments in Louisville, where she focused on financial planning. She ran client scenarios to determine retirement plans, and helped clients develop a course of action to achieve their ideal retirement.
This semester, Hayden-Ransom is interning with Hoff Bujnoch and Associates. She is diversifying her experience in the finance field by focusing more on investments and building client portfolios.
“I also got the internship with Hoff Bujnoch and Associates a little bit differently too,” Hayden Ransom said. “I had reached out to the firm after a job posting on the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board network. I was looking for jobs for after graduation.”
In her email to the partners of the firm, she stated that she was early to the job search, but requested an interview anyway.
“They agreed, but told me they weren’t going to hire me,” Hayden-Ransom said. “They just wanted to talk to me because of how I reached out to them. During the conversation, they mentioned that I didn’t have the experience that they were looking for. They ended up deciding to hire me as an intern so I could gain the experience for the job after graduation.”
After graduation, her main goal is to build her career in the workforce, but she is considering graduate school at a later date to pursue a CFA certificate.
Hayden-Ransom’s time at WKU has been full of opportunities – but the community around her has had the most impact. She said Dr. Ron Rhoades, Assistant Professor of Finance, has made a big impact on her time at WKU.
“I enjoy the team atmosphere,” Hayden-Ransom said of the people she’s encountered at WKU. “My teammates – they’re my family for the most part. Dr. Rhoades was one of my best mentors – he’s awesome. I feel like everybody at WKU is very nice, open, and accepting, and I really like that.”
For more information about the Gordon Ford College of Business, visit: https://www.wku.edu/business/
For more information about a major in Finance at WKU, visit: https://www.wku.edu/finance/
For more information about Track & Field at WKU, visit: https://wkusports.com/sports/track-and-field