Monday, February 29, 2016

Guest Post: Sean's takeaways from the CFA Research Challenge!

This week we have a special guest posting on the international student blog. In this article, my friend Sean will be talking about his experience doing the CFA Research Challenge and his main takeaways. Enjoy!!!



Hello everyone, my name is Sean Lechleiter and I am currently enrolled in the MSF program here at Pacific Lutheran University. PLU has a wide variety of extracurricular activities allowing students to supplement their educational experience. I recently had the opportunity to represent PLU, along with my friend Pape, at the CFA Research Challenge, a global finance competition. Over the course of the past few months, our team conducted extensive financial analysis on Esterline, a Bellevue based aerospace and defense company. After completing our analysis and valuation, our team completed a report and defended our recommendation in front of a panel of industry experts. While our participation in the competition recently came to a close after placing third in the local level competition, the opportunity provided valuable experience for our team as we enter a career in Finance.
Along with developing our analytical skills, I learned how to thrive in a team setting while accomplishing our goals as a group. Effective teamwork is an essential aspect of any team or organization. For anyone interested in participating in the CFA Research Challenge, or a similar project, there are several key takeaways you must consider.

  • ·         Utilize provided resources- Participants are provided with a professional and academic mentor willing to assist the team throughout the process. Constant communication with these mentors will ensure the team is on track and progressing towards their end goal. Additionally, participants are given a valuation book to assist with their project. Team members will make the most of their experience by using all resources available to them.

  • ·         Get to know each team member- Developing relationships with each team member will ensure everyone’s strengths are being utilized correctly. Learning about everyone’s interests and strengths will allow the team to divide up roles and let each member contribute according to their skillset.

  • ·        Determine and meet deadlines- Completing large projects with multiple components can feel overwhelming. The best way to approach the project is to break it into pieces and set a schedule with periodic deadlines. Working on the project for a specified amount of time each day or week will prevent waiting until the last minute to complete the project.

The CFA Research Challenge is just one example of the many extracurricular activities PLU offers. I found the process of completing this project to be an extremely rewarding learning experience with many lessons learned along the way.

Sean Lechleiter

Pictures of the final competition are not out yet, but please look out for them in the coming posts. 

Thanks for reading and have a great semester you all!

Your friend, 
Pape M. Samba