Finance forum in NY: Nineteen students attend ‘successful’ international conference

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Nineteen members of the SVSU Finance Club and two professors attended the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education VII Forum in New York City from March 30 through April 1.

This year’s conference featured over 1,500 finance students from across the world representing 47 states and 40 countries.

Club president and senior finance and accounting double major Teri Ofeno attended the trip for her second time and found the experience to be very valuable.

“From the conference, I gain a lot by just being around other financial professionals and learning directly from people in the industry,” she said. “Overall, it was a great experience to see how many people from all different places come together to learn about the same thing. I think the rest of the group feels the same way.”

The first day of the event featured speakers outlining current financial trends in both the U.S. and globally. They also discussed how elections in the U.S. and France will impact markets and the world economy.

The second day featured breakout panels about specific topics in finance such as real estate, insurance, investing and ethics. The conference ended with a day focused on potential career paths with a finance degree.

“It was a very successful trip,” said professor of finance Wayne Mackie, who serves as staff advisor for the Finance Club. “We had an excellent time in New York. It’s a really great program, and of course, the students enjoy all of the amenities in New York.”

Professor of finance Iksu Jurn also joined the students on the trip.

“This was the sixth time SVSU students have participated in this particular conference,” Jurn said. “About 12 students out of 19 participants this year had never been to New York City. Providing opportunities for students to travel to other cities is one of the purposes of Finance Club.”

In addition to the information that the students received for themselves, they also brought back ways the university could improve as well.

“SVSU really should invest in a Bloomberg terminal,” Ofeno said of the financial software program. “Almost every other school has one. It’s very helpful to learn about investing, and something that SVSU should think about getting.”

In addition to the conference, the group of students were able to experience a weekend in New York City. The group flew in from Detroit and stayed at the Lexington Hotel downtown.

“It was a very fun and busy atmosphere,” Ofeno said. “Since it was such a big group, we all kind of did our own thing outside the conference. A lot of us went to Times Square, Central Station and the Ground Zero memorial and museum.”

Due to a yearly donation from an SVSU alum, students can attend the trip at very low costs. To cover the costs that did remain, the club spent most of the year fundraising. The group sold t-shirts, hosted a Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser and raised money at a Pistons game. Overall, they raised upwards of $1,000.

Both Mackie and Jurn expressed thanks for the generous donation made to the club each year, and Jurn commended the work Mackie does to make the trip possible.

“Finance Club is not possible without (Mackie),” Jurn said. “He starts recruiting the members of the club in September, and then he starts to reserve the conference, airline, hotels and inner city transportation. I can’t imagine how much time he spends and what an effort he makes to finalize all the schedules.”

Overall, the trip to New York and back was a very smooth process and one that returning members are looking forward to next year.

“It rained a lot, so we had to spend more money transportation instead of walking; other than that, it was very smooth,” Ofeno said. “We just thank (Mackie) and (Jurn) for continuing to take students to this very educational event.”