Undergraduate Business Students Stand and Deliver

Cornell University team takes first place in 3rd Annual Undergraduate Stock Pitch Challenge

Undergraduate Business Students Stand and Deliver

Johnson at Cornell University and its Parker Center for Investment Research welcomed 18 undergraduate students to the Cornell campus on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, for the 3rd Annual Undergraduate Stock Pitch Challenge.  Three-person teams from six top universities will showcased their stock-pitching skills before a panel of investment industry professionals in the Statler Hall Amphitheater. After an intense day of presentations, Cornell University's team placed first, followed by the team from MIT. 

The competition opened with teams from Harvard, Cornell, Wharton, MIT, Dartmouth, and Notre Dame presenting  investment recommendations on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) in the first round, followed by the three finalist teams presenting on one of a choice of three data-storage device companies in the second and final round: Seagate (STX), Western Digital (WDC), or SanDisk (SNDK). The first-place team takes home prize money of $3,000, with the second-place team receiving $1,500.

Teams had one week to prepare their pitches before presenting them before a distinguished panel of judges, representing this year’s event sponsors: Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, and Putnam Investments. After their pitch presentations, teams will field questions from the judges from the sponsoring investment firms.

The competition was founded by the Parker Center in 2011, as part of its mission to educate the next generation of investment professionals, said Lakshmi Bhojraj, Breazzano Family Executive Director of the Parker Center.

“The Undergraduate Stock Pitch Challenge helps create awareness at the undergraduate level of careers in investment management,” Bhojraj said. “And the event helps Johnson build its pipeline of future MBA students.”

Students qualify for the competition at their home universities, typically through an internal stock-pitching contest. At Cornell University, this competition was held in May 2013. The top-three student pitchers now comprise the team that bested the competition today. They are studying in three of Cornell’s schools that offer undergraduate business courses:

  • David Forward ’14, economics and government, College of Arts and Sciences
  • David Skutelsky, ’15, applied economics and management, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Sheng-Nan Zhao, ’15, policy analysis and management, College of Human Ecology

In keeping with its commitment to encouraging diversity in the field of investment management, the Parker Center requires each team to include a female, said Bhojraj, who founded and coordinates the annual Women in Investing Conference for MBA students.

“Women are vastly underrepresented in investment management, where they make up approximately 10 percent of the workforce,” she said. “We want to make sure we are providing opportunities for women to explore a career in the field and making them feel welcome.”

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