Connor Flanagan wanted to work with money since he can remember. In the summers after freshman and sophomore year of college, Flanagan worked as a door holder in Manhattan. He wanted to be where the money was. He chose St. Bonaventure because of his love for business, and now he and his colleagues have half a million dollars at their disposal.
It’s because of SIIM, or Finance 401:Student Investment Fund, and it gives students real money to manage.
“One portfolio is the Long Fund, which is an equity fund and the other is the Energy Fund, which has options and futures contracts,” said Flanagan.
It’s different than taking a regular class or even working an internship.
“You don’t learn boring and pointless formulas that you’ll forget by the next class. You learn about current affairs going on in both capital and commodity markets,” said Flanagan. “You learn how to tell whether a company is under or overvalued. You learn how to use business tools to appropriately make money.”
SIIM, Student in Money Management, is opened up to all students, including graduate students. Graduate students, however, usually serve as behind-the-scenes people. They’ll help plan trips to New York City or Chicago to help network.
Two months ago, SIIM traveled to New York City for their annual fall trip.
“We visited UBS, which is a leading global financial services firm, where we spoke with UBS’ top economist (Maury Harris) who is one of the most respected economists on Wall Street, who discussed the overall economy to us,” said Flanagan. “We also visited CIT where we learned about stress tests and credit risk management from (former SIIM GM) James Reed.”
These experiences gave SIIM members a taste of how real businesses operate, and also gave them an opportunity to network with potential employers.
SIIM visited Bank of America headquarters where they saw the trading floor and received a lecture on the everyday life at Bank of America.
“SIIM has taught me to do DCF models, which protect a companies’ future five-year cash flows which is the total amount of money transferred into and out of a business, which is very critical to valuing a company,” said Flanagan. “Investment decisions, which depends on the market sector, are primarily made off models such as this.”
Flanagan used what SIIM taught him, and applied it to the professional world last summer.
“During my internship, I had to analyze energy companies under the $5 billion market cap seeking activist investments,” said Flanagan.
He used the same DCF models that SIIM instructed in his internship, which illustrates the importance of SIIM for business majors at St. Bonaventure.
Applying what SIIM offered to his internship is just one reason why it has been such an impactful resource for Flanagan since he joined during the first semester of his junior year.
“I have learned how to take into account risk management and portfolio management when analyzing and valuing stock,” said Flanagan.
It actually applied to Flanagan, and, more importantly, his future goals.
He wants to work in investment banking, and SIIM has helped him improve his skills for investing and managing.
“The benefits (of SIIM) are that you get real life experience into equity trading, fixed income trading, options trading and futures contracts,” said Flanagan. “You get real experience into how to value and pitch a stock.”
Not every college course will be impactful for your career. Not even every course you take in your major will help you. But SIIM has been beneficial to Flanagan and his career goals.
“SIMM is the type of class that enables us, business students, the ability to have a sophisticated conversation with fellow business alums,” said Flanagan.
SIIM offers an incredible opportunity for business majors to take advantage of–and in Flanagan’s opinion, it’s the best thing offered.
“SIMM is by far the best class you can take to get real life experience without leaving the classroom,” he said.