SMIPO takes New York
Traveling to the financial capital of the world with fellow members of the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Organization (SMIPO) was “one of the best experiences” of Kasidy Beckel’s life, she said.
Beckel and her SMIPO colleagues journeyed to New York City – racing against an approaching snowstorm – in late March to participate in an annual financial forum for college students. They also had an opportunity to network with successful alumni and tour some of the city’s financial landmarks and institutions.
The young investors of SMIPO, a student organization which manages funds for Radford University Foundation's endowment, and their faculty mentors from the university’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) participated in the annual Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum, a three-day event that gathers from around the world some of the most successful people in finance to share with students their knowledge, expertise and outlook for the future.
There in Manhattan, SMIPO students heard from a variety of professionals who represented well-known companies such as J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Charles Schwab.
“The main benefit from the G.A.M.E. forum is that a truly global perspective seems necessary to be able to invest properly in this day and age,” said Steve Beach, COBE’s associate dean and SMIPO advisor and co-founder. “That message came through over and over. It’s amazing how often the speakers confirm what the faculty are saying in the classroom.”
Undergraduate and graduate students from more than 150 higher education institutions participated in the forum.
“The most amazing part” of the trip, Beckel insisted, “was seeing the success of Radford University alumni in New York City and having the opportunity to engage with their organizations.”
SMIPO members met with alumni Jimmie Newton ’10, a financial analyst with Indus Capital Partners, and Gabe Garcia ’92, head of relationship management at BNY Mellon Pershing.
“I’m so thankful for getting the chance to meet with alumni who were in our shoes once and to see how far they have come in making their careers successful,” said SMIPO member Thomas Truluck, a junior finance major from Leesburg.
Meeting with alumni and the overall experiences from the trip opened Beckel’s mind, she said, “to a wide variety of career options in finance as well as the wealth management profession.”
It also has inspired her, a junior finance and management double major from Bluffton, South Carolina, to begin taking the necessary steps toward pursuing certifications as a financial planner or analyst. Working with SMIPO, she already has experience in managing a small mid-cap fund portfolio valued at more than $1.6 million.
Seeing all that New York City and the financial industry offers expanded students’ knowledge of the wealth management profession, Beckell explained, beyond what they are learning in the classroom and Kyle Hall’s trading room.
“This trip added so much to my educational experience at Radford University by connecting me with professionals in my future career field, amazing alumni and a great group of current students who value the learning experience as much as I do,” Beckel said.