The USC Career Center presents its fourth annual Financial Literacy Conference virtually and in-person on April 3 – 4, 2023. USC students and alumni will learn about investing, saving, budgeting, credit score, salary negotiation, debt management, retirement benefits, and more. First in-person session on “Understanding Taxes, Savings & Investing” is open to current students only. The three virtual sessions on “Salary Negotiation”, “Budgeting & Credit Score”, and “Building Financial Wealth & Independence” are open to all USC students and alumni.

Day 1 – April 3, 2023

Understanding Taxes, Savings & Investing

Speakers: Max Pashman, CFP – Founder & Financial Planner at Pashman Financial & Kathryn Shirley, CPA – President at World Management Solutions, Inc.
Moderator: Sarah Oh, Career Advisor, USC Career Center
Time: 12 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Rosen Family Screening Room
View Slides from Presentation

Salary Negotiation

Speakers: Brandon Bramley, Founder, The Salary Negotiator & Velera Wilson, Speaker, Author, Consultant
Moderator: Lori Shreve Blake, Senior Director of Career Engagement, USC Career Center
Time: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: Virtual – Zoom
Watch Session Recording

Day 2 – April 4, 2023

Budgeting & Credit Score

Speakers: Ben Markley, Education & Content Creator, & Ryan McDonald, Director of Business Development, USC Credit Union
Time: 1 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: Virtual – Zoom
Watch Session Recording

Building Financial Wealth & Independence

Speakers: Jeremy Schneider, Founder, Personal Finance Club
Moderator: Lori Shreve Blake, Senior Director of Career Engagement, USC Career Center
Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Virtual – Zoom
Watch Session Recording


Brandon Bramley
Founder, The Salary Negotiator

Brandon Bramley is the Founder of The Salary Negotiator. He has a background in strategic negotiations from working in many professional negotiation roles at a few large companies, including Amazon and American Airlines, where he’s not only led multi-million-dollar business-to-business negotiations but has also recruited and hired many career professionals. He also has over 10 years of experience in negotiating salaries and currently runs The Salary Negotiator, where he provides professional job offer and salary negotiation coaching to help IT professionals navigate the job offer negotiation process confidently and earn higher compensation. He’s coached clients through hundreds of salary negotiations with companies ranging in size from small businesses and startups to some of the largest global corporations such as Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft.

Website | Instagram | Company LinkedIn

Ben Markley

Education & Content Creator,

Ben is a content creator and educator at YNAB, teaching people how money works and how to make it work for them. He believes learning about the psychology, economics, and practical skills surrounding spending should be fun, easy, and practical. That’s what you’ll find in his videos on the YNAB YouTube channel. He is currently developing curricula to teach people of all ages how to change their relationship with money using the YNAB Method. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife Maddie and son Knox.

Ryan McDonald
Director of Business Development, USC Credit Union

With more than 15 years of financial services industry experience, Ryan assists our Trojan Family with a focus on student outreach. His expertise provides members with financial empowerment and education to equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to achieve lifelong financial success.

Max Pashman, CFP
Founder & Financial Planner, Pashman Financial

Max started working in the financial industry in 2016 as a Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual and transitioned to becoming Vice President at One Wealth Management in 2019. In 2021, he left to start his own independent financial planning firm in Los Angeles, Pashman Financial. He currently holds his CFP designation as a fee-only financial planner.

He focuses on helping sales executives, equity-compensated employees, and millennial families with their financial planning and wealth management. Passionate about the push for financial literacy, he has dedicated his entire online presence to educating his audience on personal finance via LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok, and his newsletter. He’s also been featured on Market Watch, Business Insider, and CBS News.

Raised in Los Angeles, he’s an avid Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams fan and enjoys snowboarding in his spare time.

Jeremy Schneider

Jeremy Schneider is a successful entrepreneur and personal finance expert. After starting an internet company in college and selling it at the age of 34 for over $5M and retiring at 36, Jeremy has dedicated his life to teaching personal finance. He founded Personal Finance Club, a community of champions of the individual investor who help further financial education. Jeremy likes playing beach volleyball and writing bios about himself in the third person.

Instagram | Website | TikTok | YouTube | Facebook

Kathryn Shirley, CPA
President, World Management Solutions, Inc.

Kathryn Shirley is a seasoned CPA who practiced with KPMG and in Corporate America before running her own boutique, business management firm, World Management Solutions, Inc. Additionally, Kathryn is passionate about helping non-profit organizations develop policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance and financial stability.

Kathryn serves on the Board of the American Heart Association, Western States and the USC Athletics Board of Counselors. She is also Chair of Recruitment and Retention, USC Black Alumni Association, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Velera Wilson, Speaker, Author, Consultant
Founder, Positive Identity

Confidence, self-worth, imposter syndrome, women in leaders. Velera Wilson is a global speaker, author and consultant who unravels and addresses these topics head-on.

With nearly two decades leading marketing strategy and driving millions in revenue for Fortune 100 and 500 brands, Velera founded Positive Identity, a company that helps women increase workplace confidence so they can advance their careers and thrive as leaders.

From her popular debut book, “You’re Absolutely Worth It”, to writing articles on women’s career development, to publishing guides including “Six Steps to Negotiate the Salary You Deserve Without Letting Fear Override,” Velera shows women how to own their worth.



Lori Shreve Blake
Senior Director of Career Engagement, USC Career Center

Lori Shreve Blake is the Senior Director of Career Engagement at the University of Southern California (USC) Career Center. She leads a diverse and dynamic team of 20 professional team members and interns, delivering comprehensive career services to over 49,500 undergraduate and graduate students and over 450,000 alumni. Her international career journey includes establishing and leading career programs for university and government organizations, overseeing academic affairs and university administration for active-duty military and veteran students in Europe. She was an adjunct professor for undergraduate humanities courses and served as a city human resources and employment manager in the Greater Washington DC area. Lori established the alumni career program and continuously re-invents scalable student and alumni career services and resources.

Sarah Oh
Career Advisor, USC Career Center

Sarah Oh is a Career Advisor at the USC Career Center and a M.Ed. Candidate in the Educational Counseling Program at the Rossier School of Education. She works with students of all majors and grade levels and enjoys guiding them through their career exploration and job search process. 

Prior to joining the Career Center, Sarah received a B.A. in English Secondary Education at Biola University and worked with various USC schools and programs, such as the School of Dramatic Arts, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity, and Research Gateway Scholars Program. 

Outside of work, she enjoys listening to podcasts, exploring new cities, and spending time with family and friends.