My name is Sterling Retzlaff, and I am the summer intern here at Alaska Wealth Advisors. I am currently a senior at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX where I study Personal Financial Planning. I grew up in Eagle River, Alaska though so when I heard of the opportunity to intern at Alaska Wealth Advisors, I was stoked to think I could come back home and intern at a top independent RIA in the state. Growing up I did not know much about the financial planning industry and even when I got to college, I had the dream of going to medical school and I pursued that dream for my first two years. After examining my true passions though I heard about the financial planning major and was intrigued. After a couple months of research, I realized that the idea of being able to eventually aid individual people in reaching their financial goals and getting to be their biggest cheerleader every step of the way sounded fantastic. This business is a people’s business and with people comes a new and unique challenge each day and that is why I am here.
Moving to Alaska at a young age, I found myself immersed in many adventures ranging from fishing and backpacking in the summer’s never-ending sunlight to all kinds of skiing in the winter I learned to love this state quickly. I graduated from Eagle River High School in 2019 where I played baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer. Since then though I have picked up a couple of new hobbies and they include boxing and taking weekend solo trips across the world. Through traveling by myself, I have learned the invaluable skill of being able to create genuine connection with all types of people and personalities and I think that skill translates well to my position at Alaska Wealth Advisors.
Working here has been awesome to see both the things that I have learned in class translated to a real-life application as well as made me realize how much I do not know! Getting to learn and be a sponge among this team helps me wake up in the mornings feeling excited and encouraged to learn more about wealth management and how to rely on the information I am learning into bite-sized chunks of information that everyone can understand. Getting to observe everyone in the office work makes me admire how hard each and every one works, and I know undoubtedly that I will leave this summer feeling encouraged and more excited to be apart of the industry.