Zahradka, Jon


From: Schertz, TX

Sather Financial Group


Certified Financial Planner

Investment Analyst

Major, Degrees:

Accounting, BBA, BS B


December 2010





What did you like best about your time in Bulldog Investment Company?

One of the things I like most about Bulldog is that it brings together a group of people with similar interests who want to learn. We are all there because we want to learn more about the stock market, investing and valuing businesses. Before I became involved with Bulldog, it was hard to find a non self-interested resource to provide quality knowledge on these topics. The people are what make Bulldog interesting and successful. Even if I hadn't developed an understanding of how to value a business, my time would have still been well spent with Bulldog just because of all the enthusiastic, fun, great people I got to spend time with and the friendships that were created.

What did you like least about your time in Bulldog?

The thing I liked least about Bulldog were Dave Sather's email blasts. I wasn't used to getting so many emails on various value investing topics. Now I realize that email is actually important in the world of work, it's not just to find out what the latest Groupon deal is. Seriously though, because of Bulldog Investment Company, and Dave, I have learned how important it is to return emails in a timely manner. I have heard, on several occasions, people complement Dave on how quickly he replies to emails. Although I am not quite up to Dave's speed, and it is something I can work on, through Bulldog I learned how appreciative people are when you reply to their emails in a timely manner. Bulldog taught me many simple things such as that, which can really help a college graduate stand out in the business world.

 If you were to talk to a current student about why they should participate in Bulldog Investment Company, what would you say?

Bulldog will greatly add to your educational experience at TLU and provide you with knowledge that will be useful to you even after you graduate. Bulldog gives you the basic tools you need to look at a business and determine if that business is "good" or "bad" and you can apply this standard no matter what field or industry you enter into when you leave TLU. Being able to delve into financial statements and know what you are looking for is an extremely useful skill. The principles I learned in Bulldog can be applied equally by a bank lender trying to figure out if he should approve a loan for a business, an accountant who needs to piece together financial statements, a small business owner trying to run a better business, or in one's personal life, when trying to invest for retirement or abstaining from the use of debt. Bulldog is not a simulation. It is a real world exercise, using real money with real consequences and real achievements. I would tell a current student that they have a chance to be a part of something special and take advantage of an opportunity that is not usually presented to undergraduate students. It's a great way to meet amazing people, a great line to have on your resume, and I guarantee, in some way, it will continue to benefit you even after you have graduated from college.

 What aspects of Bulldog Investment Company have prepared you for the “real world?”

There is a high standard that has been set for Bulldog interns. Interns are expected to be on time and in attendance. They are expected to be prepared every week and especially when it comes to presenting their potential investment ideas. Although weekly meetings are held in a TLU classroom, it is an internship and students are expected to behave as if Bulldog is their job. This gave me a job-like experience before a paycheck was on the line.  I think Bulldog provides a great segue from the classroom environment, into the "real world." In a classroom, you can get away with missing class or not doing your work if you want to. No one is depending on you, you are only responsible for yourself and your grade. In Bulldog, you are part of a team that relies on all of its members to do their job. You are required to be there and do your part or you will be "fired" from the internship. There are high standards in Bulldog, but no more so than what every employer requires from their employees. These standards helped prepare me for life in the "real world."

 How did Bulldog Investment Company help you obtain a job?

I was fortunate enough to get a job with Sather Financial Group, which sponsors the Bulldog Investment Company program. So Bulldog directly transitioned into a job for me. Although my entrance into the world of professional investment management is probably the exception, rather than the rule among Bulldog interns, my participation gave me a competitive advantage among other college graduates that I sincerely believe would have helped me in obtaining a job in a variety of fields, had I chosen to do so.

 If you had all the power in the world to change anything about Bulldog Investment Company—what would it be?

I just wish more people could know what they are missing out on, and how much Bulldog could add to their learning experience at TLU.