Winning the local final in Germany proved that our analysis was strong enough to compete against the other local winners and enriched us with the confidence that our presentation skills were competent enough to convince the professionals.
As the fundamental analysis was updated and the final presentation was submitted, we were ready to participate in the finals. There was only one thing that needed to be prepared and that was, “convincing while selling”. The presentation was not just confined to the recommendation of a fair stock price, but it was equally important to sell the concept in a convincing way.
The finals of the CFA Research Challenge 2016 took place in Chicago lasting for one whole week. In total, one hundred and six (106) teams from various universities had participated, making a total of around five hundred (500) students from the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, competed against each other to be one amongst the top four finalist teams.
Preparing, practicing as well as performing was the key driver for our team from the beginning and after proving ourselves to be the best team from Germany, we were motivated as well as determined to win at least the regional final. More importantly, one should not forget that the whole event was a challenge and every single team was giving their best to succeed. Though we had a strong presentation and convincing arguments, we felt that we lacked a little bit of the luck factor.
Besides the fact that the teams where preparing for their presentations, the whole event was a networking platform giving students the opportunity to get to know each other. Furthermore, finance professionals, CFA Charterholders as well as various companies participating as exhibitors were involved as well. Just as the thought provoking quote goes – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, it was a perfect event to practice and improve our people skills and networking with people from diverse backgrounds.
In my opinion, people skills are one of the key characteristics business students have to develop during their educational process. If you do not know how to develop your emotional intelligence next to your analytical skills, it might be hard to compete in the business on the long-term basis. Furthermore, the Hilton Hotel, where the event took place, the ENGAGE Symposium and Bloomberg livestreaming of the event altogether made the whole event special.
As it was the 10th anniversary of the CFA Research Challenge, we had a huge party celebrating the birthday as well as the winning team, University of Waterloo. Congrats to the team!
Next to the CFA Research Challenge we took the opportunity to explore Chicago as well: trying the Chicago-style pizza, visiting the bean, the navy peer as well as the Art Institute and taking a boat tour made out trip to the US a wholesome and a memorable experience. To wrap up with one fun fact about the city, though it can be really cold and windy in Chicago, it is not the sole reason behind its nickname; It became famous when it was popularized by the New York City editor, Charles Dana, in The Sun during the bidding for the 1893 Columbian Exposition when Chicago won an important Exposition.
Overall, it was one fun filled experience with a lot of learning and networking – thanks to all CFA Societies making this event happen.