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SMG Student Analysts Tops in New England Contest

BU undergrads beat MBAs from Harvard, Babson, and BC

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Mukesh Jagota (SMG’09), Ashan Walpita (SMG’09), Josh Enzer (SMG'09, CAS’09), Jeff Li (CAS'09, ENG’09), and Scott Stewart, an SMG associate professor of finance and economics.

A group of undergraduates from the School of Management toppled teams of MBA students from Babson, Boston College, and the Harvard Business School to capture first place in the 2008-2009 New England Research Investment Challenge on February 10.

The contest, which requires students to quantify the value of a company based on its performance, the state of the industry, and the company’s place in the industry, is sponsored by the CFA Institute (chartered financial analyst) and the Boston Security Analysts Society and is judged by investment professionals.

“Our team did a really excellent job of quantifying, and they had an awfully nice presentation,” says team faculty mentor Scott Stewart, an SMG associate professor of finance and economics. “These kids put in tremendous work, and they really impressed the judges.”

The SMG team, which began working on the competition in December, was made up of Josh Enzer (SMG’09, CAS’09), Jeff Li (CAS’09, ENG’09), Mukesh Jagota (SMG’09), and Ashan Walpita (SMG’09). Ulyana Hrudzko (CAS’08) was the faculty representative and team manager, and Ishar Sawhney (SMG’10) was the alternate.

“Professor Stewart gave us a good framework, but really this was less about how to do investment models than an exercise in building a team,” says Jagota. “He gave us this project and we had to own it if we were going to win it. The hardest part was just keeping everything going. Toward the end we were practicing everything three or four times a week.”

Competitors in the earlier rounds of this year’s contest included teams from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

“We were definitely the underdogs in this competition,” says Hrudzko. “This is the third year of the contest, and Babson won the first two years. Last year we didn’t even make it to the finals.”

Louis Lataif (SMG’61, Hon.’90), Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of SMG, says the win was another demonstration of the validity of the opinion of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which ranked the school’s undergraduate business program among the strongest for accredited institutions.

“That a team of our undergraduate students would outperform MBA students from MIT, Harvard, BC, and Babson,” Lataif says, “is yet more testimony to that fact.”

The BU team goes next to a regional contest, which will be held in New York on March 18 and will include teams from all of the Americas.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

7 Comments

7 Comments on SMG Student Analysts Tops in New England Contest

  • Victor on 02.18.2009 at 8:33 am

    That’s right. We’re the best!

  • Ruth Mason on 02.18.2009 at 9:48 am

    Way to go!!!!!!!!

  • Akshay on 02.18.2009 at 9:50 am

    way to go Ashan!

  • Anonymous on 02.18.2009 at 11:01 pm

    Ishar’s so smart it hurts. Way to represent, boys!!

  • Anonymous on 02.22.2009 at 11:18 am

    My boys!

    Ishar and Ashan are my boys! Way to go guys. This is truly incredible stuff.

  • Anonymous on 03.30.2009 at 1:45 pm

    BU SMG ROCKS!! we are the best . screw businessweek’s rankings

  • Chris on 03.14.2010 at 11:22 pm

    Great Work!

    Fantastic work boys. Do you have any more info on which companies you were analyzing?

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