Dr. Stephen MacLean’s Portfolio Management class has taken a philanthropic approach to learning. Students were offered the chance to participate in the Capitalize for Kids Challenge - a charitable initiative that has students compete against each other in a national portfolio management competition in support of children’s brain and mental health. The business students from Acadia who participated raised approximately $3,700 for the SickKids Foundation and its work at the SickKids Centre for Brain & Mental Health. Acadia BBA student Boston Lier was recognized as the top fundraiser in the country.
Other Acadia students were also extremely successful in the portfolio management side of the challenge, with Aaron Gruending, Jeff Hanes, Brianna Huycke, Sean Ostling, Julian Robia, and Josh Sampson all ranking in the top 30 nationally out of a pool of 1000 participants. For this aspect of the competition students were required to invest $1,000,000 through an online trading platform, and submit a 500-word written rationale for their investment strategy. The competition ran the length of the winter semester, allowing students to monitor their investments and make adjustments based on what they were learning in Portfolio Management. Julian Robia credited his success in this aspect of the competition to concepts taught in class.
One thing that I learned in Portfolio Management that really helped me succeed in the challenge was asset allocation. In previous stock market challenges, I focused too much of my efforts on trying to find individual stocks that would hopefully succeed, whereas in this challenge I focused on an entire industry. All six Acadia business students were recognized as top performers and all will be paired with industry mentors as a reward for their success.
Professor MacLean wanted to incorporate a stock trading exercise in his Portfolio Management class, but he was looking for something different than what students had seen before. As Justin Scaini of Capitalize for Kids puts it,
We enable students at schools across the country to expand their network, learn from highly talented individuals working at top firms, and potentially get connected with job opportunities. The challenge gives students from smaller universities the unique opportunity to be recognized for their skills on a national level. MacLean plans to have future classes to compete in the challenge, providing students an opportunity to contribute to society in a positive manner while simultaneously practicing the skills they have learned in the classroom.
About the Manning School
Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. As testimony, our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.