MSF students advanced to the CFA Institute Research Challenge in New York City

MSF students at CFA Institute Research Challenge in New York City
(From left) Duygu Nazlibilek (MSF), Travis Royce (BS, finance), Yuxuan Luo (MSF), Viet Tran (MSF) and Aaron Cole (BS, finance) at the Americas Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge in New York City.

Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students Yuxuan Luo, Duygu Nazlibilek and Viet Tran, and undergraduate finance students Aaron Cole and Travis Royce earned a place in the Americas Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge in New York City on April 23-24, 2019 after winning the Portland CFA Institute Research Challenge.

The Americas Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge

The Americas Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge is a regional competition that takes place annually, providing university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Each research challenge season leverages the efforts of over 140 CFA member societies, 3,500 member volunteers, and more than 5,000 students from over 1,000 universities.

During the challenge, students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company—Nike, in this case—and then create a research report with a buy, sell or hold recommendation. When asking Tran about the most valuable thing he learned, he responded, “For me, it was how to structure a perfect pitch/presentation. There are lots of aspects to consider including the balance of the content (business, finance, accounting, risk, etc.), appealing visualization and storytelling, communication skills and professionalism.”

How the MSF program prepares students to compete

PSU Finance Professor Michael Dimond coached the team with the support of fellow finance faculty Bruce Nisker. Tran attributed the team’s success to the rigorous curriculum and support from faculty, including MSF Academic Director, Julie Hackett who helped the team by organizing dry-runs prior to the New York City trip. Tran described how the MSF curriculum is extremely relevant:

“Three classes that helped me a lot with this competition were Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management (FIN 573), Financial Statement Analysis (ACTG 553) and Financial Management (FIN 513). They were helpful in providing the knowledge needed for this competition. Portfolio Management also gave me many opportunities to practice pitching and presentation skills in a professional manner.”

What’s next?

Luo, Nazlibilek and Tran are all graduating in spring 2019 and are eager to apply their finance skills in professional settings. Luo is interested in investment banking, corporate finance or venture capital jobs, while Tran is planning on interning in the financial services industry. We are proud of this important achievement and are excited to witness all the things they will accomplish in the finance world post-graduation!

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑