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Students attend finance conference
Three Quinnipiac University students attended a select economic and finance conference at the University of Dayton from March 26 to March 28.
Junior Kevin Haney, sophomore Christopher Gresh and senior Michele Smith joined professors Donn Johnson and Norris Larrymore at the Third Annual Global Student Investment Strategy Symposium and Portfolio Competition. The conference was labeled “RISE,” also known as “Redefining Investment Strategy Education.”
“We have a good relationship with the University of Dayton, which is how we became involved in this,” Johnson said.
The event featured 84 universities from all over North America, along with 570 people. According to Professor Johnson, the event coordinators were turning schools away.
“This competition is growing by leaps and bounds,” said Johnson. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 100 schools attending down the road.”
According to Michele Smith, the fact that so many schools attended helped promote the exchange of new ideas.
“I thought it was a great experience since students get to become involved in real world experiences,” Smith said. “We all got to give each other great ideas to bring back to class.”
Also included in the conference were Dick Grasso, the chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, and CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen. Speakers from such companies as Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and Prudential Securities also participated.
According to Kevin Haney, the speakers preached patience and hard work when trying to break into the field.
“Even though the job market is tight, all of the speakers advocated a strong work ethic when entering the field,” Haney said. “They suggested building your resume with internships and as many extracurricular activities as possible.”
Christopher Gresh agreed with Haney, citing the assorted career fields that were represented at the conference as the most helpful aspect.
“The diversity of the career opportunities that were represented there was what I got out of the conference the most,” Gresh said. “It was great to hear what the speakers had to say about the job market and what was required with their different occupations.”
The universities present at the conference also took part in a competition. Students were judged by how well they managed funds in their portfolio, and were given the chance to present their ideas to industry professionals.
The Quinnipiac students were unable to compete this year because they did not have a full year to prepare their portfolio, but students say they look forward to participating at the conference next year.
“All in all it was a great experience and I look forward to competing in the endowment fund competition next year,” said Haney.
The competition was judged in three different categories – growth, value, and blend funds – with a winner for each category. Purdue University was chosen as the overall winner among the three categories by judges.
According to Professor Johnson, the three Quinnipiac students were selected based on their overall academic performance, specifically in their Applied Portfolio Management class. He also indicated rising underclassmen are targeted so they will be able to continually attend.
“This isn’t for everyone,” Johnson said. “Largely [the selected students] are just outstanding economics and finance majors with the interest to excel. We really need people who will want to do this down the road.”