Preparing to pitch: Finance competitions help students look at real-world scenarios
In the two weeks leading up to the 2018 Stock Pitch Competition, Rhea Wieditz (Financial Management ’19, Vinton) knew she had to pack both her lunch and dinner when she left for class in the morning. Between courses and meetings, Wieditz and her competition team — Edin Tutic and Patrick Gold — spent all day deep into preparations.
The Stock Pitch Competition, held on Oct. 26, 2018 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, asked teams to analyze stock opportunities for a publicly traded firm of their choosing and present their findings to a panel of judges. The panel based scores on criteria that included financial analysis, valuation and presentation skills.
The trio poured through financial reports, seeking the right numbers to crunch in the right equations. It was hard work, but it paid off, both in results — the team finished third, winning a $250 prize — and experience.
“It was very time intensive, but we got to learn more about the financial field outside of the classroom,” Wieditz said. “It definitely pushes you to learn more on top of the daily homework and tests.”
Ronnie Chen, assistant professor of finance and the adviser for the team, said the Stock Pitch Competition was important for students to get a taste of real-world finance experience. About 80% of the time, teams were on their own, but Chen and other faculty members were always on hand to answer any questions.
The scenario presented by the competition mirrored a real example — participants had to find their own numbers and choose from a number of different equations.
“It’s completely different when you’re evaluating a company like we were because you don’t have the information given to you,” Wieditz said. “You have to find the right information. That posed a struggle, and we didn’t really know where to go all the time for that information.”
A crucial component of the competition was presentation. Students were asked to explain their work in a 10-minute speech, followed by a question and answer segment. Some of the questions lobbed by finance professions were tough, but they helped foster teamwork and encouraged everyone to work together to find a solution.
“There were some questions that were difficult to answer, but it forced us all to contribute together,” Wieditz said. “We each had a different piece of information that we could contribute.”
Competitions like the Stock Pitch Competition encourage students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real scenarios. The finance department at UNIBusiness provides these crucial experiences via a variety of contests.
“We’re trying to help the students be successful not only in the classroom, but in the real world,” Chen said. “We want to give them more real experience.”
UNIBusiness thanks the those who donate to the Dean's Fund for Excellence. Funds raised help pay for student organization competitions, global experiences and professional credential education.