Finance students in the past have participated in national student competitions. They are a great opportunity to practice and further your knowledge and skills you learned in the finance program at PSU. Because not all of you are finance major, grading will be generous as long as you follow the instructions (e.g., number counts for answers). In addition, it’s not a technical assignment. It’s an opportunity to look back and evaluate what you have learned, how they can be useful, and what else you should learn. Remember you chose finance as your major because you like something about finance. Follow your passion and keep learning what excites you, and you will have a bright future ahead of you. This is the last assignment of this course. Thank you for working hard in this course for the past 7 weeks.

Q1 What is the title of the finance student competition you may consider competing?

Hint: You may Google search something like “student competitions in finance”.

A competition I would consider competing in is the CFI Financial Modeling Case Competition.

Q2 Describe the eligibility requirements, if any (e.g., undergraduate college student).

There are no requirements to compete in the CFI competition. You can compete as an individual or as a team.

Q3 What are the competition criteria?

The CFI is 100% online, the competition has 5 steps. 1st you download the case package 2nd you build your financial model 3rd you create a presentation 4th you record a 5 minute video 5th you upload your submission

Q4 What is the deadline for the submission?

Registration for the 2021 competition will start in October 2021, dates for 2021 are still to be announced. In 2020 contestants had 7 days to prepare their deliverables.

Q5 Why are you interested in this competition?

I am interested in this competition because it is a way to build my resume and get noticed by potential employers. It would be a way to distinguish myself over others and prove my skills. Also if you win you get $7,000.

Q6 What would be a possible project you may turn in for the competition? Describe it in at least 100 words.

For the CFI all content is given to you. This makes it so everybody competing turns in something similar. Digging deeper into what I stated in question 3. The first step is to download the case package. This includes a confidential information memorandum, an excel model template, and a PowerPoint presentation template. Once you have done that the second step is to build your financial model with the given excel template. The third step is to create a PPT presentation delivering the conclusion of data from the financial model created. Finally, before you are done and ready to upload you must make a 5-minute video presenting your findings and the logistics you used to achieve those findings.

Q7 List things that you learned in financial modeling course that could be helpful for your project in Q6. Describe it in at least 100 words.

There are many different topics that I learned this last semester in financial modeling that would be helpful in completing the CFI competition. Using the application RStudio would be very helpful in the second step when I would be building a financial model. RStudio would allow me to create code and use functions such as filter, mutate, summarize, group_by, ggplot, and many more. These functions would give me an easy way to compare large groups of financial data. I also have the ability to visually compare data through RStudio. This would be a huge advantage when presenting my conclusion through my PPT and my 5-minute presentation video.

Q8 List things that you learned in other finance courses at PSU that could be helpful for your project in Q6. Describe it in at least 100 words.

All my finance, business, and economic classes would be helpful in one way or the other in completing the CFI competition. One basic class that I think would deem to be very helpful is Business Computer Applications. This is an entry level class that all business students are required to take. I learned a lot about Microsoft Excel in this class. Because the main part of the CFI competition is building a financial model through Excel, being able to navigate the application proficiently will be extremely helpful. Another finance class that I have taken that I think would be helpful is Investment Principals. In this class I again worked a lot with excel but with real life financial data which is what I would be doing in the CFI.

Q9 Check the finance blog below and see if you see any post that may be helpful for your project in Q6. Discuss how it can be helpful in at least 100 words.

Hint: The author of the blog writes articles on financial analysis using R.

After looking thought the blog on RStudio I found an article that seems like it would be very helpful if I was competing in the Financial Modeling Case Competition. The article was written in April of 2019 but all of the information on it is still very current. It discusses how to share R visualizations on Microsoft PowerPoint. Rather than copy and pasting work from one application to the other you can insert the pandoc package on RStudio within you rmarkdown. This converts it strait to PPT. This would be helpful because if I used RStudio to help me visualize data I would then be able to convert it easily into my conclusion PPT.

Q10 List things that you think could be helpful but not taught/offered at PSU finance courses. Discuss how it can be helpful in at least 100 words.

Overall, I think Plymouth State University does a great job at covering relevant topics for what finance students need to learn before we go out into the business world. A lot of this is due to the great professors we have. One thing that I think would be very helpful for finance students is if something like the finance club was required as a class. My idea would be that the senior class of finance students would be in charge of a portfolio. There is nothing like real experience with real money to get you prepared for the future. The opportunities would be endless with a class like this, why not build off what the finance club has created. It has already shown how much value it can add.