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Finance Student Receives $5,000 Scholarship from TD Ameritrade

West Monroe-native Catherine Traylor joined other scholarship winners for tour of New York Stock Exchange

07/23/2014 03:36 PM

BATON ROUGE – Catherine Traylor, a West Monroe native and a junior majoring in finance at the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business, recently received $5,000 as a TD Ameritrade Institutional scholarship winner. TD Ameritrade selected 10 Next Gen Scholarship winners and invited them to New York City for a visit to Wall Street this week. The group walked the famed trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange and rang the closing bell to help raise awareness of the career opportunities in financial planning.

“TD Ameritrade Institutional is committed to attracting talented students to the profession and supporting schools that offer innovative financial planning curriculum. With efforts like the NextGen Scholarship and Grant program, we can help fill the pipeline with individuals willing to lead our industry and continue the important work of caring for investors and their families,” said Tom Nally, president, TD Ameritrade Institutional. “Addressing the looming talent shortage head-on, we can help financial advisory firms remain ready to serve the next generation of investors.”

According to Traylor, the scholarship is the largest she has received to-date and will be “a big help to me to finance my education.” On July 21, Traylor and six other scholarship winners toured the NYSE with Nally.

“By far, the best experience of the day was when we had the opportunity to ring the closing bell to close the market,” Traylor said. “The view from the bell podium was fantastic. I could see the entire trading floor and CNBC’s set. The bell is not something that many people get to experience, and it's a moment I'll remember forever.”

Video of the students participating in the closing bell is available on the NYSE YouTube page or directly at

Traylor stated that she gained experience in becoming a financial planner during her sophomore year while still a management major with the ultimate goal of becoming an attorney.

“I began to take notice of the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) program,” Traylor said. “I met with Dr. (Frances) Lawrence and decided to join the program, but I was still unsure if financial planning was the career I wanted.”

Traylor noted that she found her CFP courses to be extremely interesting and enjoyable. Moreover, she was excelling in the courses and decided to change her major to finance with a concentration in financial planning.

“I then learned of the great need for young financial advisors,” Traylor said. “The number of advisors is shrinking because many advisors are nearing retirement. This situation provides many opportunities in the field as well as job stability. Being part of the CFP program has provided me with numerous opportunities and opened many doors.”
Another factor Traylor said contributed to her desire to become a financial advisor is that it is an aspect critical to all people.

“Everyone needs the skill and expertise of a financial advisor, but most people are not able to acquire the necessary knowledge,” Traylor said. “Being a financial advisor will allow me the opportunity to become a skilled professional in an area I enjoy.”

The Department of Finance at LSU boasts internationally renowned research faculty in several areas, including derivatives, asset management, banking and spatial econometrics. Both a Chartered Financial Analyst Program Partner and a Certified Financial Planner Board-Registered Program, the department offers degrees in finance at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. LSU Finance Academy members and other finance alumni enjoy careers in corporate finance, banking, asset management, financial planning, real estate, insurance, and business law. The Securities Markets Analysis Research & Trading, or SMART, Lab is equipped with an extensive library of financial databases, including the Wharton WRDS System, Factset, and 12 Bloomberg terminals. Non-finance majors may minor in personal investing. LSU law students may qualify for our joint JD/MS program.  

For more information, visit or call 225-578-6291.

E. J. Ourso College of Business