LCOB Finance Program Partners with the CFA Society of Naples
This spring a team of Lutgert Finance majors won the award for ‘Best in Creativity’ in the 2021 CFA Ethics Invitational hosted by CFA Tampa. This accomplishment included a team trophy and prize for each of the students. Arnae Molin, Jade Tywang, Michael Vega, and Jessica Villafuerte earned this distinction among university teams from across the state of Florida for their thoughtful and creative video presentation. Designed to help prepare those entering the investment profession for the ethical challenges that they will face in the workplace, student teams were given an ethics case to analyze and make recommendations in an 8 - 10 minute video presentation. The FGCU Team, competing for the first time, was sponsored by the CFA Society of Naples.
The CFA Society of Naples has been a faithful supporter of Lutgert’s Finance program, providing mentoring, scholarship, networking, and other opportunities for our students. FGCU faculty members Travis Jones and Thomas Mathews, both members of the Board of the CFA Society Naples, serve as liaisons between the university and Society.
The CFA Society of Naples Mentorship program is a great way for students to gain first hand insight on potential career paths as well as expand our professional networks.
In one popular mentoring program, coordinated by Mathews and running from June to mid-July, members of the CFA Society of Naples meet with Lutgert students weekly to discuss topics covering some of the key areas in Finance – private equity, equity analysis, fixed income analysis, investment banking, credit analysis – and conclude with discussions on the economy and career planning. Each student is matched with his or her own CFA mentor, who volunteers his or her time to guide students in expanding their professional network, acquiring new skills and learning about different functions in Finance. Admission to the program requires the students to meet certain criteria; at the conclusion of the program, students are eligible for a scholarship funded by the Society.
"The CFA Society of Naples Mentorship program is a great way for students to gain first hand insight on potential career paths as well as expand our professional networks," says senior Kyle Hemani, who plans to graduate at the end of the 2021 summer term. "We speak with many professionals in industries such as investment banking, investment management, banking, etc. These professionals give us a general overview about their current position and industry, and I believe that it really helps us students choose which career path fits bests with our interests, strengths, and goals."
"Our mentors share with us their experiences and advice," adds Jessica Villafuerte, "that has helped me understand what to expect when I graduate and what my ideal work environment would be." Villafuerte is pursuing a double-major in Finance and Analytics & Informatics, with a planned Spring 2022 graduation date. "I would recommend this program to any student in their final year who needs some guidance in their career development," she continues. "I think it is crucial for us to understand what we like and do not like to find our ideal job."
"They definitely help ease the stress of finding a career path I can strive in," confirms Hemani.
The seven-week program has been beneficial to mentors and to students from the two local universities – FGCU and Ave Maria University.
In another pilot program developed under the auspices of CFA Society Naples, Jones and Mathews helped to develop and administer a Personal Finance program targeted for students in Collier County high schools. The eight-week program was conducted online and exposed students to the fundamentals of saving, investing, banking, and wealth management, career planning and networking. Given the success of the program, the Society is exploring ways to provide the same to Lee County high school students in the not too distant future.