The Inaugural Global Finance Summit

by Annie Burnham

Panelists respond to questions at the inaugural Global Finance Summit.

Panelists respond to questions at the inaugural Global Finance Summit.

Last Friday, the Department of Finance and Real Estate held its inaugural Global Finance Summit. The event drew 180 people to Colorado State University’s Center for the Arts for an impressive lineup of 10 speakers. Student moderators asked panels of speakers questions in three sessions. Each session had a specific topic: the global economy, moderated by Zachary Lund and Eric Ziola; alternative investment strategies, moderated by David Ferguson and Jason Page; and corporate finance challenges, moderated by Amy Sunderman and Jessica Blakeman.

The keynote speaker was Alice Schroeder. Schroeder spoke about the various interactions she had with Warren Buffett in writing her book, The Snowball. She recounted the life experiences and life-wisdom of Warren Buffett and talked about his business acumen (strong negotiation tactics), family relationships, and personal traits.

The event was great and very educational. Although many topics were covered, the opinions shared were very enlightening and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. After each of the three sessions, participants gathered for networking and snacks in the lobby outside the theater.

As a member of the audience, I felt that the event achieved all the Department of Finance and Real Estate had hoped. For those six students who participated as moderators, this was a wonderful opportunity to engage with some brilliant minds in finance and economics. The moderators all agreed that the first ever Global Finance Summit was a success.

Student moderators asked expert panelists questions.

Student moderators asked expert panelists questions.

Zachary Lund, senior business administration major and a member of the Colorado CFA Society Global Research Challenge team that placed first in Denver last month, was one of the first moderators. He and his co-moderator, Eric Ziola, asked questions pertaining to the global economy. Lund mentioned that he and Ziola “prepared by organizing questions, coordinating with the speakers via conference calls, doing research on the subject matter, and practicing discussions about the subject matter.”

Eric Ziola, a senior studying finance and real estate, said, “It was an unbelievable opportunity, and I know that some students were approached by employers in the industry.”

Events such as this one tend to invite employers to meet prospective employees among the CSU business students. Ziola offered advice to younger CSU business students: “Take part in every opportunity and event related to your field while you are in school, because the chance to talk to industry professionals will disappear once you enter the ‘real world.’ There are barriers preventing access to these wonderful industry professionals that the college breaks down for you.”

“Students should understand that opportunities like the GFS are extremely valuable and present the opportunity to get real world insight in order to bridge the academic value of the college experience with its actual application in the business world,” Lund echoed. “These opportunities do not happen all that often and should be capitalized on by students.”

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