Business students excel at Research Challenge

YSU students, from the left, Nicholas Conti, Samantha Anderson, Kayla Cerimele, Conner Kesner, and Simon Rafidi, placed third in the recent Chartered Financial Analyst Research Challenge in Cleveland. Assisting the team was Fran Wolf, professor of Accounting and Finance.

YSU students, from the left, Nicholas Conti, Samantha Anderson, Kayla Cerimele, Conner Kesner, and Simon Rafidi, placed third in the recent Chartered Financial Analyst Research Challenge in Cleveland. Assisting the team was Fran Wolf, professor of Accounting and Finance.

A team of five students from the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University placed third at the Chartered Financial Analyst Research Challenge in Cleveland.

YSU’s team includes: Nicholas Conti of Hubbard, Ohio, a Finance major; Samantha Anderson of Youngstown, a Finance and Economics major; Kayla Cerimele of Canfield, Ohio, an Accounting major; Conner Kesner of Canfield, Ohio, a Finance major; and Simon Rafidi of Youngstown, an Accounting major.

The Research Challenge is an annual event held globally in association with the CFA Institute. The Institute administers and issues the prestigious CFA certification to investment professionals passing a rigorous set of exams. The Challenge provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to integrate coursework into a project that mimics what analysts do in practice. Following a thorough analysis, students make their buy, sell or hold recommendation on a publicly traded company.

All competitors prepare an in-depth paper and presentation. A panel of business and industry experts grades both the paper and presentation. The competition started in November 2015 with a visit to Signet, Inc. Akron headquarters. The teams were also required to have a faculty and industry advisor in their group. Fran Wolf from the Williamson College of Business Administration and John King, CFA, from PNC in Financial Services in Cleveland assisted the YSU team.

The YSU team made their inaugural appearance at the annual Challenge against nine other rival schools with several years of competition experience. The YSU team placed ahead of other universities whose teams included graduate students.