Job # 1: Making the Case for Financial Literacy
What do you get when you combine economics and sociology? In the case of Erich Wohl ’18, it’s a passion to educate young people about financial literacy and personal finance. That knowledge can have an enormous impact on their quality of life, says Wohl, who majored in econ and sociology at Hamilton.
He now works as an account manager at Money Experience, a Boston-based financial education startup that has developed a curriculum for high school and college students. The best part of his job, he says, is explaining the importance of financial literacy to school districts.
One reason for Wohl’s interest in the issue is his passion about closing the wealth gap. High-needs students, who have the least financial knowledge, are the students who need that information the most, Wohl says. But students from all backgrounds benefit from learning about personal finances, he points out.
His career relates to both his majors. “I'm interested in investment banking and financial analysis at a higher level and that ties into a lot of aspects of financial literacy that I feel are important. The numbers behind financial literacy are really interesting. On the qualitative side of things, it's interesting that young people make such astoundingly uninformed decisions around financial literacy,” he says. “By young people, that includes those in middle school all the way to those years out of college and the millennial generation as a whole. This really accentuates the dramatic difference in education quality I discovered in sociology and education classes at Hamilton.”
Ask Wohl to sum up what was especially significant about his time at Hamilton, and he talks about learning through the conversations he had on a daily basis with other students, especially students who studied something wildly different than he did.
“Just being in the context of the school and being a member of the Hamilton community is so incredibly valuable — it’s something you really can’t get anywhere else,” he observes.