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What I liked and am probably going to miss the most about BIC is how close you actually got to know each other. I would give anything to go back to those late nights in the collaboration room grinding out our work for the companies. Not only did we create a wonderful working environment, we also created an environment where it was okay to be yourself no matter the background, and someone was always willing to listen.
Sometimes we would start our presentations late. This is not always a bad thing because at times, those were our best presentations.
You learn how businesses work. Not only that, but you also learn about the time value of money and the smart ways to make your money, make money. BIC also creates a chill, fun learning environment for all no matter the major. Yes, it is very true that BIC enhances your engagement in other classes.
Being able to decipher financial statements and learning about WHY the numbers are the way they are. You must always find out why something happens, if you can do that, you are able to make smarter, wiser decisions. BIC also enhances your presentation/project skills.
Going through the process now. Companies like how I am able to tell you why something isn’t working the way it should.
Have it everyday!
The things I liked most about BIC were the interactions and people I got connected with during the program. Only the brightest and best individuals go through this program. I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to present in the program and meet so many individuals. The second-best thing about the program were the speakers. Dave has incredible connections and always brings the most interesting and humble speakers to talk to us. I enjoy the speakers that I have had the opportunity to listen and talk to.
The thing I liked least about BIC was when fellow peers took control of the lecture/discussion, longer than needed to. My personal opinion I follow better when Dave presents and discusses topics rather than when a student talks for over 30 minutes.
Current students should participate in BIC because it has provided me with so much growth as an individual. If it weren’t for BIC, I would still have terrible anxiety when it comes to presenting in front of a crowd or peers in general. I have also learned lots of wisdom from Dave and other alumni who are in the working world. I have also learned things that could not have been taught in the classroom that is part of the curriculum of my study. To specify, in regard to investing for my future retirement and that of my parents.
I have experienced a significant amount of personal growth that has helped me in college, but also for the real world. I have gained confidence in myself to help me execute tasks better. I also have gained stronger presentation skills and investing knowledge, that I would not have earned elsewhere.
BIC has helped use my skills in an interview for a job, along with adding that item to my resume. Whenever my interviewer asks about BIC on my resume they are always surprised and genuinely interested in the program, thus giving me points to obtain the job.
BIC is awesome, my only concern (but it mainly pertains to me) was the time and the scheduling of the program. When I was presenting, flexibility was limited in regard to work, presentations, and etc. This year, I have noticed that presentations have been moved around and there is more flexibility within teams.
During my time in BIC, there were multiple things I've liked. The part I liked most was our "best recruitment tool." My favorite part was the people, and the relationships I was able to develop with people. I found the topics interesting, and the presentations were fun, but the thing that kept me working, and kept me coming to class was enjoying the people I was with. Another thing that I feel is worth mentioning, is that meeting in person greatly helped to support my last point. I would say that if we hadn't met in person, I would have struggled to maintain my participation in BIC.
The thing I liked least about BIC is not even something I would consider a dislike so much as a concern. The concern is that Sather Financial interns get put into a position where they seem obligated to pick up the slack on their team. I feel like this does help with presentation quality, but also takes away from some of the personal development of the team (e.g., the rest of the team not learning about what companies to present and just doing companies that the SF intern is suggesting from SF decisions). While I think this approach is helpful in learning about companies and investing, there is potential for diminishing returns, if a team decides to not think and just blindly follow whatever an SF intern says. The best possible solution I can think of would be to include a captain/co-captain leadership model, with specific responsibilities assigned to each position, so there is more discussion on decisions being made.
Current students should participate in BIC because it is a great opportunity to learn valuable information with motivated, and disciplined peers. This will inevitably help any current student become better people overall.
BIC has helped to prepare me for the real world by helping me to learn that disciplined investing, whether in stocks or anything else, is much more beneficial than spending resources on things that only offer instant gratification. This could be investing effort into people, rather than video games, investing money into stocks instead of buying a GTO, or even investing time into trying to learn how to be somewhat financially literate, instead of into drinking beer on Friday afternoons.
I think BIC will help me to play as part of a team. While this is a skill that I had already developed prior to my time in BIC, like any skill, it must be practiced in order to be maintained. BIC helped me to knock some of the rust off, and keep this skill honed throughout the virtual hellscape that I consider online learning to be.
The thing I would change about BIC is a more developed criteria for winning presentations. There were times when it felt like the best company won, despite not being the best presented. There were also times when it felt like the best presented company won, despite not seeming as strong as the other company. Whether an explicit criterion exists, I think developing one and communicating it would benefit the students in BIC greatly. I think even having something like two parts to winning a presentation would be beneficial, if one part was based on the company alone, and the second part was based on the quality of the presentation. This could take shape as two separate competitions, or perhaps a weighted score (e.g., 25% presentation quality and 75% company choice, etc.). I would also include a rubric to help explain the decision about the winning team. It could be a fluid rubric, and change depending on circumstance, but I think developing one would also improve the learning aspect of the presentations.
What I liked most about BIC was that fact that I could learn and experience investing with real money rather than just simulations. I’ve been in stock market clubs in the past but we’ve never used real money. The fact that we actually used real money gave me a sense of fear because I didn’t want to lose money, so I think students did take investing much more seriously.
What I liked the least about BIC was the amount of time that went into it. Of course it’s important to work hard and try your best, but it was really difficult to juggle BIC with 18 credits including some masters courses.
Current students should definitely participate in BIC so they can learn about investing and make valuable and informed decisions for when they invest their own money. There are too many “meme” stocks and misinformed investors, it’s frustrating.
BIC has definitely helped me with financial planning and gave me the confidence to invest my own money. My own investments are up over 30%.
Employers loved when I spoke about BIC during interviews because it is such a great program and showed that I was a hard working individual, and I wasn’t just studying accounting/finance, but also participating in the real world.
If I could change anything about BIC, I would make it an actual course worth a few credit hours.
It is honestly hard to say what I liked most about BIC. What I think I would say to that is how it changed me as an individual. I took the three semesters I was in BIC and really tried to learn as much as possible because I recognized how unique of an opportunity it was. I think while I learned a lot about investing and analyzing financial statements, I also learned a lot about how to learn which is a skill I believe will benefit anyone for a lifetime no matter where they end up going.
The part I liked least about BIC was that I was only in for 3 semesters, and I didn't find out about it sooner. That last semester I selfishly wanted to find a reason to stay an extra semester, but ultimately made the decision to graduate on track with my degree plan and not extend my consumption of student loans.
Current students should participate in BIC because it truly is a rare and unique opportunity. Where else are you going to be able to learn from successful money managers who give you valuable mentorship and participate in an internship where you make real decisions regarding investments as an undergraduate? Especially if you are not a Finance major. And it is a great opportunity to build up your circle of peers that will make you better. Plus, you pick up so many skills and learn so much more than investing in the program, the value is incredibly deep. I think more often than not, students in college, especially underclassmen (myself at the time included) do not recognize fully why you are at college and what it can do for you as an individual. You are literally given the opportunity, for 4 years of your adult life (or more), to make it your chief objective to soak up information, skills, and talents, so why not make the most of it?
I think all the students that come out of BIC having participated for more than 2 semesters can all attest to having learned skills and picked up tid-bits of useful things applicable to the real world. I will raddle off SOME of these things. The presentations give you repetitions for public speaking. Professional judges give you real-time feedback on how to improve your speaking and body language, and your PowerPoint presentations. The constant group work teaches you how to work intensely with a wide variety of personalities and work ethics that simulate real-life instances. If you work hard enough and assume a leadership role amongst peers in the program, you pick up leadership skills and learn just how hard it can be to lead others to a given objective. You also learn how to improve and be productive (Presentations cannot get done and win the competition if you are lazy). There is a strong sense of competition that makes everyone better and teaches you how to approach that competition with humility and a mindset to get better. You get proficient at Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, which are all used extensively in professional knowledge work areas. You learn about the value of money, how to invest smart, how to protect your money and build wealth. I could go on and on about the benefits and applications of things we learned in BIC that will help us in the real world. A lot of which I would not have gained if I just attended regular classes and didn't apply myself to a higher aim.
It has become a huge resume builder. Plus, I know my network has grown incredibly stronger having been a part of the program.
I would clone Dave. Just kidding. I only say that because I know how impactful your one-on-one mentorship can be on me and other members of the program. Other than that I think I would make earnings presentations more structured because I think those provide a less-intensive way to get junior analysts on board with how presentations should be conducted as well as research.
I think my favorite thing about my time in BIC was the discussions about life. Whether it was with Dave, the entire class, or just a few team members, I often found the most valuable knowledge I was receiving came from a place of worldview and philosophy – and not financial knowledge. This was a very pleasant surprise to me in my time in the program and am very grateful for having those types of conversations. In short, BIC is a way more than just “reading financial statements”.
BIC at times for me felt “clique” like – which I found unusual given the type of kids that it attracts.
People who go multiple years in BIC get so much out of it, and it varies from person to person based on their commitment level, interests, and in all honesty, their intellectual level. If I were to say just one thing to the entire TLU student body (considering all interests, commitment levels, and intellect) to join BIC it would be as follows. “Do you desire financial freedom, the ability to retire from work one day, and the chance to become incredibly wealthy?”. To which the student body would answer, “Yeah no shit sherlock!”. And to which I would reply “Great!... Here is the only class on the entire campus that will actually provide that for you”. I have classmates who will go on to be doctors and lawyers and politicians and astute businessmen. If none of them have ever, or will ever, receive the knowledge on what to do with money when they get it, they will end up in the debt culture/cycle just like anyone else. I know that this point is obviously very hard to get across, because if it were easy, the US wouldn’t have a debt culture. However, if you can attract 5 students a class on that premise alone, it literally makes the world a better place – and perhaps break generational chains in the right circumstances. I hope one day I can speak on this at TLU in all seriousness – huge point for me.
BIC has prepared me for the real world in personal finance, worldview, philosophy, how to think, how to apply your skills of any kind to any particular task (like my political science thinking into investment), and so much more. I would be fully capable of writing an essay on all the ways BIC prepares you for the real world, but I’ll put it into one sentence. BIC is about investing… into stocks, into the program, and most importantly, into yourself.
I am actively applying/being recruited into a position through a connection with a former BIC student – it is the single most important item on my resume in regards to this job and others. That speaks for itself.
I think I would change how the team leader system works. It definitely has a lot to do with the clique aspect, but sometimes I think the leaders withhold resources to get a leg up on other students within the program.