By Alexis Menard On April 8, 2020 3:45 pm
During the 2019-2020 school year, the UM-Flint Financial Management Association (FMA) made a strong comeback. In recent years, the student organization has become inactive. A group of committed UM-Flint School of Management students made it their mission to restart the organization and offer resources to students interested in financial management.
The mission of the Financial Management Association is to help students learn and challenge each other about various aspects of finance, such as investment banking, investment trading, investment management, and business administration-finance. They accomplish this through networking, being leaders in their classrooms, biweekly meetings, guest speaker events, and this year, attending a national conference.
In early March, five students attended the 2020 Finance Leaders’ Conference in New York, New York, for the first time in the history of the organization. The team members that attended were Parker Faubert (BBA in Finance), Todd Fridline, Vice President of FMA (BBA in Finance), Hannah Hodgkinson (BBA in Accounting), Austin McIntosh, President of FMA (BBA in Finance), Ciera Meier, Treasurer of FMA (BBA in Accounting and Minor in Criminal Justice), and Mustafa Salim, Secretary of FMA (BA in Economics and Minor in Finance).
These determined students highlighted their skills and accomplishments in a Financial Case Competition with 60 other universities throughout the country. The deliverables of their case focused on the macroeconomic, quantitative, and qualitative analysis of Peloton, the popular at-home workout equipment that also provides customer support through their app and live-streams.
“Due to this being our first time participating in this event, we did not know what to expect leading up to the event. Five of our six members were allowed to compete in this competition, and we divided the work up equally between these five members. We were given five hours to complete our analysis and we utilized this entire time. The deliverable for this portion of the competition was a four-page case report,” said Todd Fridline.
FMA presented their findings to a panel of judges, and from their hard work, they received Top Three Honors in this competition. “This was a tremendous experience for everyone involved,” said Todd Fridline.
“Since it was our first conference, we were not sure what to expect out of this weekend. Our main goal for this conference was to take in as much information we could. From there, we can take this information to guide the club’s meetings and future conferences going forward. We were looking at this conference as a gateway to get the club up to the potential we see it as,” said Ciera Meier.
Austin McIntosh, President of FMA, said, “We would absolutely like to attend the conference again and become a routine part for the club and to build upon the success that we enjoyed this year. We would like to continue learning more in-depth aspects of finance and the business world. Previous competitions held at this conference were quiz bowls and case competitions, so if we continue to learn and practice these skill sets, it will set us up for success not only in future conferences but also in our careers.”
The faculty advisor for FMA, John Stephens, Lecturer of Accounting and Finance for the School of Management said, “I am very happy with the activity of the club and the initiative they have taken to plan, organize, and arrange funding for the trip to New York City. I am also very proud of their accomplishment with the case competition. Each school could decide if they wanted to enter the competition. Not only did the UM-Flint FMA decide to enter, but they also were all very enthusiastic about the competition and their deliverables. The analysis was very strong and the students ended up placing third for their analysis of the Peloton Corporation and earning a prize stipend. The other schools in the competition were much bigger programs, but our students proved that size does not matter because the principles are the same no matter where you attend college. ”
During the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 semesters, the FMA’s primary focus was to recruit new members and achieve their goals. “We have used flyers, digital signage, and various word of mouth to let students know we are back on the radar. We have tables at the Mgagement Fairs, SOM Business Socials, and also promoted our various events throughout campus,” said Austin McIntosh.
“By putting on various events, and making this organization centered around what the members want to gain out of the club, we are continuously achieving our goal of learning and challenging ourselves on aspects of business administrative finance,” Austin McIntosh continues, “Rebuilding this club and achieving the success as we did at the Finance Leaders’ conference truly shows that the University is excelling in teaching their students in becoming the Leaders and the Best.”
According to the group members, all of this couldn’t have been done without the guidance of FMA’s faculty advisor, John Stephens. “He has given us tremendous support and has contributed numerous ideas to help make the club become the best it can be. Aside from the club itself, he has assisted us in making smart decisions for our career as well as answering our financial questions that we come to him with,” said Austin McIntosh.
The intensity is up for FMA’s upcoming 2020-2021 academic year as they plan to continue to bring in well-known professionals from the community to educate students on specific industries within the business world, volunteer within the community, travel to Michigan firms in the finance/accounting field, host fun engaging student events, and attend the 2021 Finance Leaders’ Conference. The student organization will continue to be a learning environment for students interested in accounting and finance, even if it’s not their degree focus.
“I think that the program in the School of Management can hold their heads high in the sense that our students are learning how to think and problem solve using the tools that are taught in class. I am very proud of this accomplishment and the club has certainly set a high standard for next year’s club,” said John Stephens.
Current members testimonials on why they joined FMA:
“ I joined the club because I really wanted to more involved on campus as a sophomore. I am an accounting major, and wanted to join an org that would compliment that but also broaden my horizons. Meeting new people was a bonus!“
– Hannah Hodgkinson, BBA in Accounting
“I was looking for a way to get more involved on campus. Although I am not majoring in finance, I thought it would be good to extend my knowledge in that field.”
– Ciera Meier, Treasurer of FMA, BBA in Accounting and Minor in Criminal Justice
“I’ve always been interested in financial markets and the economy. As an economics major I wanted to add more depth to my degree. The club solidified the idea of adding a Finance minor to my degree.”
– Mustafa Salim, Secretary of FMA, BA in Economics and Minor in Finance
“I was seeking a club that was not only related to my major but also as a way to get involved on campus, being that this is a crucial way to stand out to potential employers, and at the same time make myself a more well-rounded individual.”
– Austin McIntosh, President of FMA, BBA in Finance
Interested in join FMA in the Fall 2020? Email Austin McIntosh at email@example.com.