Ten Mendoza undergraduate students traveled to London for spring break 2017 as part of the one-credit International Portfolio Management (IPM) course offered by the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing (NDIGI). Students spent the week engaging in real-world interaction and working on a case study with Thunderbird Partners, a leading London-based investment management firm. NDIGI Faculty Director Shane Corwin and Managing Director Kevin Burke traveled with the group, and they were joined by Paul Buser, investment director for Notre Dame’s investment office.
To start the week, students met with the investment manager of Thunderbird to outline the case and debrief the investment opportunity in front of them. Following the debriefing, students were divided into teams and assigned a firm. Throughout the week, teams attended additional lectures and worked to analyze their case, in preparation to present their findings to the investment manager at the end of the week.
“We read through the documents, analyzed the financial statements, and reached our own conclusions to determine our investing strategy of the company,” said student Kelly Loughran. Attention to detail was critical throughout the entire process, she emphasized.
Classmate Harry Parker added, “Because there was no clear, easily obtainable solution, it was important that we took the time to complete thorough research, challenging our assumptions and thinking critically about the business.”
During their time performing research, students gained a real-world perspective on investment management, as well as an understanding of investing from a European standpoint. The students faced many obstacles, with sudden changes in information and having to adapt quickly. However, these challenges allowed them to gain even more from the experience.
“I felt we tackled the challenge of having limited time by staying focused and honest with ourselves throughout the case study,” student Greg Trinkl said. “Our team set egos aside, asked for help when needed, and ultimately knew when to work hard. I am very thankful for the opportunity to represent NDIGI in London.”
The trip gave students an opportunity to practice skills in both qualitative and quantitative aspects of investment management, along with the confidence they need for future success in the industry. Students learned not only about the company they focused on, but about themselves as well.
“This was a foreign, yet unbelievable opportunity, working side by side with a successful hedge fund and so many intelligent individuals,” student Dan McFadden said. “I had to prove not only to them that I could substantially contribute to my team, but also to myself that I belonged in a real-life, investment analyst setting.”