Notre Dame students Rafael Campos, Alyssa Loffredo and Steve Nash took first prize at the Cornell Undergraduate Stock Pitch Challenge on Sept. 14-15 in Boston, Mass., an investment competition for students from top undergraduate programs to compete and showcase their stock-picking skills in front of a panel of distinguished judges.
The judges from the competition were selected from a number of event-sponsoring firms. The three-member teams were given one week to prepare two stock pitches.
The team was assigned stocks from Canada Goose first and Landstar second, only having to pitch the second stock in Landstar once they reached the final round.
Teams from other universities around the country included Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University. Campos said the representation from different teams was a key part of his experience.
“It was a great opportunity to get to know other people that are involved in investment clubs across the nation,” Campos said.
Nash said the team focused on the numerical data and had to narrow down important aspects of the pitches early on due to the quick turn around in the competition.
“Given the short time frame of the pitch, we had to focus on the qualitative aspects of the company to really understand how the business worked,” Nash said.”We used those qualitative factors to actually play into how we made the assumptions in our model.”
The team also emphasized how the skillsets they refined while participating in NDIGI programming helped prepare them for the competition, specifically the AIM and APEP courses.
“The AIM Class emphasizes comprehensive equity research and is designed to mimic the portfolio management process,” Loffredo said. “We research the companies, formulate opinions, and recommend whether or not something should be in the portfolio. It’s an experiential learning opportunity that provides us with hands-on experience in the industry, which is something that was valuable in preparing for the Cornell competition.
The APEP course creates a classroom environment that closely mimics the real world of private equity investment while also providing students with the core concepts needed to succeed in the field. Because of the research and practical evaluation exercises completed in class, students said they felt more ready going into the Cornell competition.
In addition to gaining the valuable experience of competing in front of industry professional judges, the students also present to prospective employers during the two-day competition. The recruiters in attendance received the students’ resumes, and students had an opportunity to mingle with both judges and recruiters at the welcoming reception before the competition and the awards reception following.
“NDIGI really helped us think about how to start our pitch and kickstarted the process in actually forming our investment thesis for each company,” Loffredo said.