In Harmon Hall, home of the Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Lindenwood University, students are getting real experience in finance, after the Board of Trustees approved $100,000 from the university’s endowment to create a new Student Managed Investment Fund.
The fund is managed by finance students under the guidance of newly named Finance Department Chair Dr. Javeria Farooqi and Chris Abbott, Lindenwood graduate and research analyst at Argent Capital.
Students decide how to invest the money together. After careful analysis, using special software applications, students pitch their investment choices to the rest of the class and instructors.
Dr. Farooqi said she is impressed with the students’ progress.
“I think they are doing an excellent job of managing this fund in a very volatile market,” said Farooqi. “Having a real-world experience like this is learning at its best. The student team takes their job of managing this fund seriously; however, they are having fun while they learn, and this is the rarest of things in education in my experience. We are moving beyond theoretical concepts to enhanced experiential learning opportunities.”
The idea for the fund sprung from an informal student club. The informal group turned into a special topics class and after funding from Lindenwood leadership, the Student Managed Fund was born. The class managing the fund is comprised of juniors and seniors who have to receive high marks in prerequisite courses and be recommended by faculty. Students can take the class twice. Students are initially taught investment selection skills and later portfolio-management techniques.
Research shows there is a positive relationship between experiential learning and the development of critical life-skills, like making good financial decisions.
“Lindenwood University is literally putting its money behind its mission of Real Experience–Real Success. This is the kind of hands-on learning opportunity students need to be competitive in the career marketplace,” said Molly Hudgins, associate provost for curriculum and experiential learning. “While many universities have student managed funds, the Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Lindenwood goes a step further, hiring qualified educators who have also had real business experiences—experiences they bring alive in the classroom for their students every day.”