Earlier this month, ten George Mason University School of Business Finance students competed in the CFA Washington Ethics Challenge, with one team taking first prize. Led by Associate Professor Steve Pilloff, the students were asked to analyze a case containing several ethical dilemmas, and were asked to present their analysis to an esteemed panel of judges. The students were split into two teams, Mason Gold and Mason Green, with Mason Gold taking first place.
Mason Gold consisted of Finance students Valerie Mayer (senior), Katherine Vargas Medina (junior), Samar (Summer) Nasir (junior), Ama Obeng (junior), and Amber Wilkins (junior). Mohanad Aldayel (senior), Isabelle Graham (senior), Pin Chun Lin (senior), Alexander Nhounisoung (senior), Nadia Peralta Perez (senior) made up the Mason Green team.
“CFA Challenges provide students with opportunities to further develop and then showcase their skills, not just to their professors and classmates, but to an audience of engaged finance professionals,” said Pilloff.
Students were asked to give a ten-minute presentation on their analysis, focusing on violations of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. According to the CFA Institute, these codes are the “ethical benchmark for investment professionals around the globe.”
“As a result of participating in competitions, students have received internship offers and other opportunities from people who have been impressed by their work,” said Pilloff. “These competitions have raised the profile of our talented and hard-working students. They allow the finance community to see what Mason students can do.”
School of Business Finance students Beau Fitzpatrick (senior), Elan Guzman (senior), Alexander Nhounisoung (senior), Joshua O'Neil (senior), and Chaitanaya Manya Vij (senior) also competed in the CFA Research Challenge, which was sponsored by CFA Virginia. The CFA Institute says the Research Challenge is a competition “that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics.” While the team did not win the competition, they did advance to the presentation stage, where they competed against three other teams.
“The CFA Challenge provides our undergraduate students with an incredible opportunity to enhance their career readiness skills, specifically in the areas of critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as interpersonal communication,” said Patrick Soleymani, associate dean of the School of Business Undergraduate Program.