The Financial Planning Association is offering a virtual externship program this summer to replace internship programs canceled because of Covid-19, the association announced Wednesday.

Those completing the externship program will earn credit for 160 hours of experience toward the 6,000 hours of experience needed to earn CFP certification.

Many summer internship programs have been canceled because of the pandemic, leaving students and those changing careers without options for furthering their careers during the summer months, the FPA said. The program will be run in cooperation with TD Ameritrade Institutional.

The externships will allow students to “learn from—and connect with—practitioners who can show them financial planning in action [and] will fill a major hole left by internship cancellations,” said FPA President Martin Seay.

The eight-week program, which is free for FPA members, will be held weekdays from June 1 through July 30 and will be led by CFP practitioner mentors. Each week will focus on a different subject including investment planning, insurance and risk management, client communication and care, cash flow, student loans and college planning, retirement, taxes and estate planning.

The externships will include learning sessions and case study assignments, software training related to that week’s focus area, office hours with practitioner mentors and technology partners, the submission of case studies and closing sessions to ensure proficiencies.

“This program will give students a greater understanding of our profession and what their options are,” said Hannah Moore, owner of the firm Guiding Wealth in Richardson, Texas, and an organizer of the externships. “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.

“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,” Moore said.

Additional information and registration pages can be found at www.FPAExternship.org.

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