By Jo Nguyen
Recently tenured New College economics professor Sherry Yu, Ph.D., spent a year working on securing an official university affiliation with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.
Thanks to her efforts, New College is now one of 234 universities to share this honor, which allows students the opportunity to study from and take the CFA certification exam. And, to represent this feat, four New College finance students will be competing in the CFA Society Tampa Bay Ethics Invitational on March 26 in the Kate Tiedeman College of Business at the University of South Florida (USF) St. Petersburg.
“There was one graduate who motivated me to do this. When we started talking, he was saying how he paid over $1,000 last year to get the curriculum and register for the exam, and he passed in December,” Yu said. “He told me there was a scholarship available and it ended up being the CFA Institute University Affiliation. The rules sounded complicated. But when you break it down, it’s not that bad.”
The CFA is a professional association for investment management professionals. It has the highest level of international legal and regulatory recognition of finance-related qualifications. The CFA provides a curriculum for candidates to get certified, which can further confirm a candidate’s credentials. CFA Level 1 specifically certifies a candidate’s entry-level abilities to work in the financial analysis field.
Since 2014, New College has had the finance “slash.” Every year, there are six to seven graduates who want to pursue a career in finance. Yu had to show curriculum coverage of at least 60 percent. She hired Joshua Ingram, a second-year statistics and economics student, to help her apply for the affiliation.
“She asked me if I would be interested in working with her to go through the economics/finance area of concentration curricula and the CFA Institute Affiliation application over the summer,” Ingram said. “I was happy to work with her, considering I was quite familiar with the CFA, having attended the CFA Society Tampa Bay meetings for nearly a year at that point.”
Ingram is among the New College students who will be competing in the CFA Society Tampa Bay Ethics Invitational against students from USF, USF St. Petersburg and the University of Tampa. The Ethics Invitational helps prepare students entering the investment profession for the ethical challenges they will face in the workplace. Student teams are given an ethics case to study and evaluate, and they present their analyses to a panel of judges who select a winner.
The CFA affiliation is undoubtedly significant for New College. It provides New College students free access to all three levels of the CFA Program curriculum eBook, the sample exams for each level, a complimentary online subscription to the Financial Analysts Journal, as well as an invitation to the CFA Tampa Bay seminars and events. New College will also receive an annual scholarship that will allow three fourth-year students from any discipline to take the exam.
“I have considered taking the CFA exams to obtain my charter, but it’s dependent upon what I decide to do for my career. It is a very rigorous process,” Ingram said. “But I’m happy I was able to provide some level of support through the process of getting this to happen. It would not have happened without the hard work of Professor Yu.”
Jo Nguyen is a student writing intern in the Office of Communications & Marketing.