PBA Students Compete in Finance Global Challenge

West Palm Beach, Fla. (February 8, 2024) Five Palm Beach Atlantic University Students are set to compete in the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Equity Research Challenge, where they will assess a company’s financials and make an investment recommendation.

Participating in the challenge simulates the everyday life of a financial advisor, making students do intensive research on their subject and developing the ability to interpret and present their findings in a professional manner. 

Carson Quinn, Benjamin Dobulis, Isaiah Vaccaro, Will Labrinos, and Dimitrio Horsford are among the students participating on PBA’s behalf in a competition with over 1,000 different universities from nearly 100 countries. The students devoted their entire fall semester to preparing for the challenge as well as participating in other activities, including The Student Managed Investment Portfolio (a $100,000 portfolio), the Investment Club, and the FinTech Club. 

 Creating Real-world Experiences to Enhance the Classroom Curriculum 

The students’ faculty advisor and finance professor, Dr. Ariel Viale, recommended the challenge, considering it an excellent opportunity to obtain real-world experience in the fields they plan to pursue after graduation. The students, in turn, asked Viale to be their faculty mentor for the challenge. According to competition limits, she can offer insight into the students’ project.

The PBA team worked through a shared document, slowly piecing everything together. Some worked on research and writing, while others built models and charts. The main goal of compiling all the research is to incorporate it into a cohesive story explaining the company’s current operations and providing a projected outlook. 

The students looked to their coursework for examples of completing such a complex research project. Following the advice of experts who had participated in several similar research challenges, they polished off their research papers and submitted their entries.  

 Next Steps 

The team looks forward to hearing the results of the local competition, then advancing to nationals, and hopefully all the way to the global level, which will take place in May. 

The CFA Institute provides the CFA finance designation, a highly renowned achievement in finance and business. To achieve such a designation, they must complete a three-part test with an average pass rate of 33 percent. The CFA Equity Research Challenge is an excellent first step on the path to such an exclusive accomplishment and increases a student’s skills and knowledge through hands-on experience.

The PBA team hopes their participation in the challenge will inspire other students to venture out into the real world and experience what they learn in the classroom firsthand. 

Are you interested in becoming a business analyst or pursuing another business area? Learn about PBA’s programs at the Marshall E. Rinker, Sr.  School of Business.

PBA News, Palm Beach Atlantic University

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