Published 04/21/11

Finance students get an inside look at potential careers

April 21, 2011

Finance concentrators have the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge through the student-run Archway Investment Fund, as well as network with some of the leading thinkers in their field.

Two students on the Archway Fund Executive Committee reflected on their experiences this year and how they helped build a foundation for professional success.

Here is what they had to say...

Because of my passion for the investment management industry, the Archway Investment Fund has been an invaluable experience for me this past year.  It has given me a terrific opportunity to apply classroom knowledge of various stock valuation methods and portfolio management skills to gain real hands-on experience in managing a $650,000 portfolio. 

Being on the Archway Investment Fund has also provided me with many great networking opportunities.  During our Thursday night class, we regularly host Bryant alumni from the investment industry as well as other investment professionals.  As a member of the Archway Investment Fund, I was also given the opportunity to participate in the “Walk Down Wall Street” trip and the Providence Society of Financial Analysts (PSFA) Networking Dinner where I was able to network with a panel of successful Bryant alumni and members of the CFA society.  

The PSFA dinner was of particular interest to me as I am currently pursuing my CFA designation and was very fortunate to be awarded the PSFA scholarship for the Level 1 CFA exam this upcoming June.

This year, I attended the Archway Investment Fund’s 6th Annual Financial Services Forum and was chosen among a select group of students to attend a Q&A session led by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. I also participated in the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E) Forum.  

At the Financial Services Forum, I was given the opportunity to hear from, and later network with, a distinguished group of panelists and the keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Shilling. The Q&A session with Chairman Bernanke provided me with great insight on the causes of the financial crisis and state of the economic recovery. 

I was also given a terrific opportunity to attend a three day international investment conference known as the G.A.M.E Forum, where I participated in various keynote panel discussions, investment workshops, career panels, and networking receptions.  All the economic and investment insight I have gathered from the forums, networking dinners, guest speakers, and successful Bryant alumni, has allowed me to apply my knowledge back to the classroom and ultimately help the Archway Investment Fund make better investment decisions. 

Being a member of the Archway Investment Fund has also greatly helped with my job search. It is only as a great talking point in interviews, but it also provides great networking opportunities.  I have already secured a position as a financial analyst in the Financial Leadership Development Program at The Hartford.  This full-time offer materialized through a summer internship at The Hartford, which I originally obtained by networking with a Bryant alumnus at a career fair who was a previous Archway Investment Fund member.

Michelle Figat ’11 (Burlington, CT)

My involvement with the Archway Investment Fund has truly been one of the best experiences throughout my four years at Bryant. Through this two-class series, I have learned the necessary tools to evaluate investment opportunities through financial valuations, forecasting, and qualitative business analysis.

In addition to the theoretical knowledge and technical skills I have gained, I have refined my presentation skills, learned to create professional stock pitches and reports, frequently networked with industry professionals, and had the opportunity to take on a unique leadership role in what is truly a student-managed investment fund.

Throughout the semester we have had the opportunity to speak with a number of professional analysts and portfolio managers through conference calls and in-class presentations to learn about their investment views and strategies, as well as the risks they see in the future. Bryant alumni have been more than generous with their time, returning to speak in our class, attending networking events, and even offering their own research reports and financial models to help current students get the most out of this experience.

As a member of the Archway Investment Fund, I have had the opportunity to participate in such events as the Quinnipiac GAME Forum, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the PSFA Market Outlook dinner, and the Archway Investment Fund Annual Financial Services Forum.

This year’s Financial Services Forum was focused on the theme “The Global Economic Outlook.” The panel discussion and keynote address focused on macroeconomic issues and trends as they pertain to the economy and current investment environment. Many of the trends cited by keynote speaker Dr. Gary Shilling were similar to trends that Archway Investment Fund members identified at the beginning of the semester while developing our own investment strategies.

A networking luncheon followed the Forum and all students in attendance had the opportunity to interact with our distinguished speakers; industry professionals; Bryant faculty and administrators; and Archway Fund alumni. This event exemplifies the invaluable opportunities the Archway Investment Fund experience provides to Bryant students interested in building a career in investments.

Megan McKenzie ’11 (Greenfield, MA)