Alex Harte, a senior in the Questrom School of Business, said his involvement in the Boston University Finance and Investment Club may be what got him his job in finance.
He got involved with the club in the fall of his freshman year as a junior analyst and worked his way up to be the vice president of the Investment Management division.
“I’m the one … who does all the trades and picks the stocks that we actually invest in for our now $1.1 million fund,” he said.
After receiving $250,000 for future investment from the Boston University Administration Office this academic year, the BU Finance and Investment Club — the largest undergraduate student organization in the Questrom School of Business — reached $1 million in assets under management, which means the total value of assets managed by a firm, according to Wall Street Prep.
“[It is] entirely student-run, and it’s $1.1 million of our own money,” Harte said. “We have faculty advisors, obviously, but they have zero impact on the actual securities that go into the fund.”
Harte said it took “no tricks” for the club to reach the $1 million mark. He says they are “value investors,” meaning the club invests in undervalued companies with good management as opposed to searching out high-growth companies.
When students join the club, they are first placed into an entrance division as junior analysts. After learning from qualified senior analysts for a while, they can apply to enter the next division as senior analysts themselves.
The second branch is the application-focused management division, containing the more experienced senior analysts who pitch stocks to the sector heads, the vice president of investment management and the risk team.
After the judgment has been made on the stocks that are pitched, the club members then contact the club advisor who is in charge of actual trading to purchase the chosen stocks using the club fund.
“We give responsibility to students, and we trust them to make good decisions and great pitches,” Harte said. “They’ve consistently proven that they can do a great job at this over a good period of time.”
Aayush Pashine is a senior in Questrom and the president of the club. Pashine said the club has been beating the Russell 2000, a benchmark index used by investors to gauge how the small-cap market is performing as a whole, for two years.
Pashine said one goal for his presidency is to bring the firm treks, which were made virtual due to the pandemic, back to an in-person format.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn from the great alumni that our club and Questrom and BU produce every day,” Pashine said.
This goal was realized with a recent in-person firm trek in Boston, which Joonhyeok Yang, a sophomore in Questrom, said created an opportunity to bond with the rest of the group.
“It was really cool for us to just sit down for two hours, get a coffee, get a sandwich and just talk about our lives,” Yang said.
Although the pitch process has an element of competition, the members of the group often share their pitches as they prepare to present them, said Questrom sophomore Tate Feeney, a senior analyst. Last semester, a few days before pitch night, Feeney said he and his team realized they needed to completely redo their pitch.
“It was a lot of fun just staying up late with them and making sure that everything worked out fine at the end and that everyone was going to present something that they can be proud of,” he said.
Yang said the competitive nature of finance does not deter the members of the club from supporting each other. Yang said the senior analysts all share links to internships or job opportunities — even if it means they’d be interviewing for the same position.
“At the end of the day, it’s all competition but they’re willing to share what they’re applying to and tell others to still apply,” Yang said. “We don’t try to compete with each other. We try to push each other for their own success.”