WASHINGTON, Pa. (Oct. 5, 2011)—Washington & Jefferson College is one of eight colleges and universities in the western Pennsylvania region—and the only undergraduate institution—participating in this year’s CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge hosted by the CFA Society of Pittsburgh.
A team from W&J has been selected to compete with teams from Carnegie Mellon University; Duquesne University; University of Pittsburgh; Robert Morris University; California University of Pennsylvania; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. The CFA Institute is a highly regarded global association of investment professionals.
“Our students are very excited that we have been selected to participate. It means a lot to them and says a lot about our institution, our department and our new financial economics program in particular,” said Dr. Yongsheng Wang, director of financial economics at W&J and advisor for the team. “This is an unbelievable opportunity for the students to gain some valuable experience and to meet and network with industry professionals.”
With a real company as a subject company, the challenge will be composed of a written report and a presentation taking place at the end of February. The winner of the local challenge will travel to New York City to compete at the regional level next April. Winners of the regional competition will compete again against a global team to determine the overall winner.
The W&J team is comprised of senior Neil Sullenberger, financial economics major; senior Stephanie Brunermer, economics major with financial economics emphasis; and senior accounting majors Jack Prudence and Mike Heltman.
“While the competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students, W&J is the only undergraduate college or university selected, meaning our undergraduate students will be competing against graduate students from some of the other top schools in the region,” Wang said.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge was started in 2007 with less than 20 universities and only four local challenges. This year, more than 3,000 students from more than 700 universities are expected to participate in the 91 local challenges held around the globe.
“This is a great opportunity for us because it will allow us to gain real-world experience doing something similar to what we plan on doing following graduation,” Brunermer said. “It should give us an edge over the competition in the field.”
Both Brunermer and Sullenberger are planning to obtain CFA charters.