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Finance team captures first place win
Rece Dawson, Jordan Phelps, Trevor Johnson, Alex Allen, and University Professor Kevin Bracker

Finance team captures first place win

A team of four Pittsburg State finance majors advised by University Professor Kevin Bracker won first place in the Kansas City Local CFA Institute Research Challenge, qualifying them for Regional Americas and positioning them as sought-after in the career market. 

It was a first for Pittsburg State University, which was up against teams that included UMKC, Kansas State, Missouri State, and Truman State. 

The team was comprised of Alexander Allen, Rece Dawson, Trevor Johnson, and Jordan Phelps. Each won $1,000 and a trip to Boston to compete in the Regional Americas March 19-20, as well as a scholarship for a CFA examination registration within the next two years. 

Bracker estimated the team put in well over 400 combined hours on the competition, which began last October and culminated this past weekend.  

"Everyone in the Kelce College of Business was extremely excited and proud of the team's accomplishment," said Dean Paul Grimes. "By winning the CFA's regional competition, our team has signaled to the marketplace that Pittsburg State students are peers with students at the best business schools in the world. 

Allen, of Shawnee, Kansas, is majoring in finance and accounting and will graduate in December. He hopes to one day start and manage his own investment fund. 

Dawson, of Mound City, is a senior majoring in finance and economics and plans to do consulting or banking. 

Johnson, of Gower, Missouri, is a junior majoring in accounting and finance and would like to become an auditor, an investment analyst, or a portfolio manager. 

Phelps, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is a senior majoring in finance who will pursue a career in banking. 

Grimes said the CFA Institute is one of the most respected organizations in the field of professional finance and investment management. 

"Only the most exceptional in the field are able to earn the CFA designation," he said. "All of their programs are extremely rigorous and challenging."   

The CFA Institute Research Challenge calls for competitors to prepare a 10-page paper, plus up to 20 pages of appendices, on a company selected by the local challenge host society. The Pittsburg State team and their competitors were given EPR Properties, a Real Estate Investment Trust, in October. A series of meetings, presentations, and conference calls that followed over the past few months culminated in the final event on Feb. 17 in Kansas City. 

Previous companies have included Garmin, Cerner, Kansas City Southern, NIC Inc, Compass Minerals, and Capitol Federal Savings Bank. In the seven years that Pittsburg State has competed in the challenge, KU won three times, UMKC won three times, and K-State won once. Pittsburg State's previous top finish was third place with their Garmin presentation in 2011-12. 

Bracker noted that this year's team reached out to Mark Johnson, a University Professor in Human Resource Development, for tips in delivering their presentation, which helped them polish their performance and push them to victory.   

 

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