uinnipiac's Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VI Forum offers students that rarest of opportunities: the chance to discuss and debate financial best practices with some of the best-known movers and shakers in the field.
The three-day forum, held annually in the spring, can be your time to shine, said Gabriel Reyes '16, the lead student volunteer for the 2016 event. Students at the conference can challenge speakers, resulting in some lively dialogue, he said. In the smaller breakout sessions in particular, students have the advantage of speaking directly to industry leaders. Reyes recalled one student who asked a "brilliant" question. After a short debate, the speaker asked for the student's contact information.
The purpose of the forum is to get some of the most successful people in finance together in one room to share their knowledge, expertise and outlook for the future with college and graduate students. "It's not only about listening, it's about networking," Reyes said.
The forum was founded six years ago by Quinnipiac finance professor David Sauer and is the largest, student-run financial conference in the world. In spring 2016, it drew 1,400 undergraduate and graduate business students from 47 states and 37 countries to New York City, the center of the global financial services industry.
It's unusual for a conference of this size and visibility to be hosted by students, Sauer said.
"The leadership experience and the networking opportunities between current and future leaders from the financial services industry are unprecedented," Sauer said. "The G.A.M.E. Forum provides a unique, interactive learning environment where students and faculty can see the connection between what is learned in the classroom and industry best practices."
In the months leading up to the conference, each student organizer has a lot riding on his or her shoulders, from managing a team to communicating with speakers and attendees. Their work puts them in direct contact with presenters. In that way, the student volunteers begin reaping benefits long before the conference actually begins, said Andrew Scott '16, VIP committee chair.
"That level of responsibility will help us out in the long term," Scott said. "It all adds up to experience that sets you apart from others competing for the same jobs."
As in years past, the roster of forum presenters reads like a "Who's Who" of financial industry leaders: Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs, Charles Evans of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Gary Katz of the International Securities Exchange, and Tom Keene of Bloomberg News, among other notables.
Because market outlooks are not black and white, even the brightest minds will disagree on best practices. "It's so exciting to see those kinds of exchanges take place," said Rachel Moon '16, this year's registration chair.
Students gain new perspectives not only from speakers, but also from students across the country and from overseas who look at world events through the lens of their own experience. Topics include the global economy and markets, corporate governance and investment strategies. There's also a portfolio competition and panel on career opportunities within the financial services industry. In total, 94 organizations are represented in the form of 117 speakers, workshop hosts or judges.
"I'm proud to have the Quinnipiac name behind this event," said Moon. "It gives the school a lot of prestige, and I'm honored to say I've been a part of it."