Maine Business School students competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge

Four Maine Business School students competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge state finals in early March. This event is an annual global competition offering students real-world experience as research analysts. 

Dr. Stephen Jurich, Associate Professor of Finance, led a team of four senior Finance majors, Parker Burtnett from Melrose, MA; Alexandra Lessard from Jackman, ME; Jack Lalime from Otis, ME, and Ashlynne Stevenson from Vassalboro, ME. Their task was to analyze Tyler Technologies’ finances to determine if it was a valuable stock to buy, hold, or sell as a stockholder. The team created a 10-page paper and a presentation as part of the challenge. 

“I saw this project as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Ashlynne Stevenson. “I wanted to have a real-world experience applying the knowledge I had acquired in the classroom. The CFA Institute Research Challenge gave me a sense of what a research analyst would do, which is something I want to pursue as a career.”

The four team members were classmates in Dr. Jurich’s FIN 351 Financial Valuation course in the fall 2022 semester. They met once or twice weekly to prepare for their final presentation. “When large milestones were approaching, like the written portion of our project, we met at least three times a week – sometimes multiple times per day,” Stevenson says. The team worked together during holiday breaks to prepare for the event in early March 2023. 

While they didn’t win the competition, the lessons the students learned were invaluable. “I’m proud of my team members for their hard work and dedication to this project,” Parker Burtnett says. “We learned more through this challenge than any class could teach.” 

Alexandra Lessard learned about the dynamics of working as a team on a high-level, independently run project. “We set our own deadlines, coordinated schedules, and trusted one another’s abilities and work.” 

“I didn’t know how four undergraduate students would accomplish what felt like the largest and most elaborate research project for a competition ever – but we did!” Stevenson says. “I’m forever thankful that I chose to compete in this challenge and thankful that I had the best team members to work with.”