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.
Acadia University’s Fred C. Manning School of Business is located in the town of Wolfville in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Home to over 600 undergraduate students it offers a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration program with majors in six areas including accounting, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, employment relations, and technology management. Students enrolled in our program may also take advantage of international study and co-op education opportunities. More information can be found on the Fred. C. Manning School of Business homepage.