Justin Goldie, Jake Vallier and Zack DeLang

Undergrad Financial Markets Institute team pictured (from left) Justin Goldie, Jake Vallier and Zack DeLang

Broad College of Business MBA and undergraduate students honed in on their presentation skills as their relentless efforts were rewarded with a first place win at the Mergers & Acquisition Case Competition held by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Western Michigan Chapter at Grand Valley State University.

The competition consisted of 27 teams competing at the undergraduate level and three teams at the MBA level. ACG provided a networking opportunity for students with Michigan-based financial services firms, in addition to the chance to compete in a competition designed to sharpen ones analytical and presentation skills. The case study in which the students used in the competition, offered a real-world business situation that gave teams a learning perspective that differed from a textbook.

Kartik Gupta, Charles Fobb, Jason Siegfried and Nate King

MBA Team: (From left) Kartik Gupta, Charles Fobb, Jason Siegfried and Nate King

“This experience allowed for me to demonstrate many of the hard skills I have learned during my time at MSU and through internships, but also stretched my capabilities by making the competition into a real-life scenario. This case competition pushed me out of my comfort zone by having to put myself in front of investment professionals, something you don’t always get in a classroom environment,” said Jake Vallier, undergraduate student competitor and junior Financial Markets Institute (FMI) Scholar at the Broad College.

As stated on the ACG website, “Student participants will gain invaluable experience in a real-world context, receive feedback from leaders in the local business community, create networks and compete for a cash prize. During the competition, students analyze complex business cases and present strategies involving merger and acquisition alternatives, valuation, capital markets, finance options and corporate strategy.”

“It’s a credit to the Broad College and the education the students receive to have teams at both the undergraduate and graduate levels earn first-place honors,” said Helen Dashney, director, Financial Markets Institute.

Teams were given two weeks to prepare their presentations. In this time, students spent countless hours in the Finance Lab tapping Bloomberg and other online resources, building financial models and preparing detailed pitch books.

Undergraduate teams were assisted by senior FMI Scholar Ethan Thomas, member of the winning 2018 ACG undergraduate team. FMI students have taken top-place honors for two consecutive years at the competition.

“My biggest takeaway from this event is just how valuable the skills you learn in the Broad College MBA program are. Seeing the amount of knowledge and practical skills I’ve gained from two years at the college in action is a great feeling,” said Jason Siegfried, second-year MBA student.