As one of my first official tasks as a new member of the Partners Marketing team, I was asked to attend a financial workshop facilitated by my fellow Cast Member Juliana. Primarily, I was there to photograph the event so that we would have images we could use in future articles or on our website. Of course, as Juliana went on to explain, she was excited to have me there because I would be able to get a feel for the types of workshops and education programs Partners offers. Not to mention that it was a millennial-focused workshop, which meant that my 23-year-old self was exactly the target audience. I was pretty curious to see what a “millennial workshop” looked like, and secretly hoped that Juliana wasn’t about to give a presentation full of hashtags, selfies, and memes. You know—millennial things!
I arrived that morning, camera in hand, and helped pass out worksheets and pens. At 9:30, the lights dimmed, and Juliana began her presentation. I took a few moments to really sit back and take everything in; I noticed that, as expected, nearly everyone in the room was around my age. And to my pleasant surprise, I also noticed that Juliana was speaking to the room as she would any other group. While the topic of conversation was definitely geared towards my age group in its focus on building credit now at the beginning our careers, that’s all it was. There were no gimmicks to try to appeal to a younger crowd, and the conversation didn’t feel patronizing or like we were being scolded for not already knowing the information.
I try to keep on top of my finances as much as possible. My dad works for a bank and my mom works in municipal finance, and they definitely instilled in me the importance of financial literacy from a relatively young age. I opened a credit card when I started college so that I could build credit and routinely put away a set amount of money each month. But there’s a lot I still don’t know or understand. I know my friends and I always joke about this, but they really don’t teach us this stuff in school! How much money should I be setting aside for my 401k? But wait a second, what’s the difference between a 401k, an IRA, and a Roth IRA and do I need to pick just one? And believe me, I’ve done all sorts of research on my own, but it’s hard to know what information to trust when you’re constantly bombarded with clickbaity articles such as “11 Things Beginners Absolutely MUST Know About Saving For Retirement” and “20 Things Every 20-Something Should Know About Credit” — to put it simply, it’s all very overwhelming.
So to have a workshop series dedicated to helping people my age, I think that’s pretty special. While Juliana does a fantastic job picking topics that are interesting to us—such as credit, saving for retirement, and protecting your online identity—I think what makes these sessions especially valuable is getting to experience them with a group of likeminded people. All of the participants in the workshop were also just beginning their careers with Disney, and it was amazing getting to see everyone so involved in the conversation. People were taking notes and asking all sorts of question—questions I’d thought of before, but had never had anyone to ask.
When the workshop ended, I felt two things: that I had learned a lot of valuable information, but also that I had found a resource that I would be able to utilize in the process of better understanding and securing my financial future. Which is fantastic timing because I just happened to receive my Disney Benefits package in the mail. And yes, I did manage to snap a few photos as well!
Formerly authored by Sarah B. at Partners