DENVER (May 6, 2020) – Summer 2020 is shaping up to be unlike any other summer in recent history. This is especially true for students in financial planning programs across the country who were expecting to take the next critical step in their career development by participating in summer internships. While many students were able to secure alternative opportunities, many others were left without options.

To fill this critical void in the career development of today’s financial planning students―and those students who weren’t planning on a summer internship, but are looking for an experience to apply classroom knowledge―the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals and those who support the financial planning process, in partnership with TD Ameritrade Institutional, will conduct an FPA Virtual Externship program from June 1 through July 30.

“Students work hard throughout the year and use the summertime as an opportunity to put into action all they have learned ,” says 2020 FPA President Martin Seay, Ph.D., CFP®. “I see the commitment these students put into their studies in my program at Kansas State University and want them to have the experience over the summer to learn from―and connect with―practitioners who can show them financial planning in action. This virtual program will fill a major a hole left by internship cancellations.”

The FPA Virtual Externship, which will also appeal to those planners who have lost their current jobs and those interested in a possible career change into financial planning, is an eight-week virtual program that features curriculum that will help students learn how to apply classroom theory to real-life practice. Those attending who are currently working toward, or planning to work toward, CFP® certification will receive 160 hours toward the Standard Pathway for CFP Board’s Experience Requirement.

Each of the eight weeks will focus on a specific area of financial planning and will be led by practitioner mentors who are among the most recognized thought-leaders in the profession. While the practitioner mentors are currently being identified, the eight-week program will focus on the following topics:

  • Week #1: Investment Planning
  • Week #2: Insurance and Risk Management Planning
  • Week #3: Client Communication and Care
  • Week #4: Cash Flow Planning
  • Week #5: Student Loan Planning and College Planning
  • Week #6: Retirement Planning
  • Week #7: Tax Planning
  • Week #8: Estate Planning

Programming will take place each day of the week with the designed purpose of providing attendees with a structured externship experience, including learning sessions and case study assignments with practitioner mentors (Mondays), software training related to that week’s focus area (Tuesdays), office hours with practitioner mentors (Wednesdays), office hours with technology partners (Thursdays), and submission of case studies and closing sessions to ensure proficiencies (Fridays). Additionally, each week will include virtual happy hours for attendees to connect with their peers and practitioner mentors and access to an online community where collaboration can take place throughout the week.

“This program will give students a greater understanding of our profession and what their options are. They will be exposed to multiple models and ways of working with clients, which will help them know the direction they want their career to go,” says Hannah Moore, CFP® of Guiding Wealth in Richardson, Texas and organizer of the FPA Virtual Externship program. “This is a rigorous program that will provide the depth and training that firms today are looking for and the type of experience they would have likely received in an internship this summer.”

Additional training will be offered to help students better understand the professional landscape, how to be a good team member within a financial planning firm, best practices when working virtually, and guidance on how to find a job.

By the end of the eight-week program, students will be able to articulate a variety of philosophies in each area of financial planning, but more importantly, will be able to identify their own philosophy and why they believe that philosophy will position them to best serve their clients.

“Despite the current challenges, the financial planning profession cannot waiver from its mission to attract and develop new talent. Students, recent graduates and really anyone who aspires to make financial planning their vocation, now through this program have an opportunity to connect with an array of practitioners,” says Kate Healy, Managing Director of Generation Next at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “We are pleased to support and join FPA in creating innovative, new approaches to developing talent and sustaining our industry.”

The FPA Virtual Externship is free for FPA members. Full-time students can become members for as little as $39/year and CFP® certificate students can join for as little as $119/year. The FPA Virtual Externship is free with any membership level. Those interested in learning more and registering can visit


About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals, educators, financial services professionals and students who are committed to elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning. Through a collaborative effort to provide members with professional education, business support, advocacy and community, FPA advances financial planning practitioners through every phase of their careers, from novice to master to leader of the profession. Learn more about FPA at and follow on Twitter at

About TD Ameritrade Institutional
TD Ameritrade Institutional empowers more than 7,000 independent registered investment advisors to transform the lives of their clients. It provides powerful technology and resources that help simplify running a business and let advisors spend more time doing what matters most — serving their clients. Through meaningful innovation, steadfast advocacy and unwavering service, TD Ameritrade Institutional supports RIAs as they build businesses that positively impact their clients and communities. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.