Poly Student Ambassador Blog: Financial Literacy Series With Paige L. ’23

Poly has been hosting a financial literacy series, courtesy of Jackie S. ’22 and Michaela S. ’23, for Upper School students and staff interested in economics, investing, and finance. Every week, Poly alums Paul Haaga ’99 and Koko Archibong ’99 educate students on how to start setting themselves up early for financial success. 

In the first two weeks, we went over the basics of investing and economics by defining common financial terms such as stocks, bonds, supply and demand, macro and microeconomics, and more. One of the highly stressed points in the early sessions was the importance of discipline when investing: the idea that you must make decisions that will be beneficial in the long run rather than ones that seem reasonable in-the-moment. 

This idea is much easier said than done, so guest speakers, brought in by both Mr. Archibong and Mr. Haaga, come in and display these terms and ideas in action. Hearing each of the speaker’s different perspectives in their jobs and advice on how to create good investing habits while still learning about finance has definitely made me think more about my future. Simply learning about each speaker’s job and the mindset that each speaker must possess to perform well in their job has helped me understand the many different, unique parts that contribute to keeping a company functioning. 

At the beginning of a guest speaker session, Mr. Haaga or Mr. Archibong provides thought-provoking questions for the speaker to respond to before opening up to the club where Upper School students have the opportunity to ask the guest speaker questions themselves. Questions can be about anything really, ranging from what the speaker’s favorite part of their job is to the steps that led them to their current positions. 

After each session, the club meets for a debriefing session during club times in our Wednesday Flex schedule to share the impact the session had on each of us and to communicate any leftover questions that were not answered during the session. As mentioned many times, the goal of the series is not to turn each of us into master stock investors but to instead expose us, mainly the Upper School students, to the world of finance as we come to an age when we will obtain many financial responsibilities. In the following weeks, I will have the privilege to hear from more guest speakers and overall deepen my understanding of the world of finance.