Chapman’s Research Challenge champions depart for the Regional-Americas round of the competition, hosted in Seattle, next week. Before they go, we sat down with the team to get to know them a little bit better.

Aayush Aggarwal

headshot of aayush

In his first year as an MBA student, Aayush joined the residency program to participate in the CFA Society Orange County Portfolio Competition, bringing his experience as a derivatives trader to the team. Now, as a second-year resident, Aayush has been a part of three winning teams – twice in the Portfolio Competition and once in the Research Challenge. Before coming to Chapman, Aayush earned Bachelor’s degrees in Business and in Finance from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies in New Delhi and his Masters in Finance from Queen Mary University of London.

We asked Aayush what the residency program, and his experience as Portfolio Manager, has meant to him:

“Investing has always been a passion for me, and I have been trading using technical analysis. The Residency Program was a chance for me to learn more about fundamental investing with a direct and practical approach, and connecting with like-minded people. Working in the Residency Program has given me confidence in public speaking, and insights into the financial world.”

Post-graduation, Aayush plans to work in Investment Banking to continue developing his skills and experience, eventually planning to open his own asset management firm.

Dominique Yadegar

headshot of Dominique

Dominique is a junior at Chapman, who joined the Residency Program in the fall of 2016, after working as an intern for Merrill Lynch in their Global Wealth and Investment Management Division in Austin, TX. During her sophomore year, Dominique interned as an Investment Analyst Intern for Canterbury Consulting in Newport Beach. The Research Challenge isn’t Dominique’s first big win. Just a few short months ago, she was part of the Chapman team that won first place in the CFAOC Portfolio Competition, where she presented on international equities.

In addition to her involvement as a senior member of the Residency Program, Dominique is also the President of Chapman University Investment Group and attended this year’s Walk Down Wall Street interterm travel course. This summer, she will be going to New York to work as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs. After graduation in December 2017, Dominique wants to continue to pursue investment banking in NYC.

We asked Dominique to share some of the valuable things she has taken away from her involvement in the residency program, in preparation for her career:

“Involvement in the residency program gave me the opportunity to practice idea generation, research, analytics, and presentation composition and delivery, all of which are valuable skills in the finance industry today. Above the financial knowledge, technical skills, and time management experience I gained, I would like to highlight the team oriented aspect of the program the most. Not many classes give you the opportunity to work with a dynamic team on such a detailed project for an extended period of time. Learning how to effectively utilize and contribute to your team can make a great difference in the deliverable, and for us it really helped.”

Valerie Chang

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Like her teammates, Valerie’s first experience winning an investments competition was in the CFA Orange County Portfolio Competition, where she presented the team’s capital market expectations and economic outlook. As a double major in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Economics, she brings a unique perspective to the team’s investment philosophy. Before joining the residency program, Valerie worked as a Financial Reporting Intern at GBG, and a Financial Advisor Intern at Waddell & Reed. She also spent time working as a tutor and supplementary instructor for microeconomics in the tutoring testing and learning center here at Chapman.

Valerie expressed how her involvement in the residency program has shaped her experience at Chapman:

“The Residency Program, without a doubt, has been the single most rewarding experience I’ve had at Chapman. The program takes concepts that I have learned in class and puts them into a practical use in an open and collaborative setting. Every person in the program pushes each other to succeed and achieve his or her highest potential, and this is an environment that I have thrived in. It has been academically, professionally, and personally rewarding and I know that I will take everything that I have learned into the workplace and beyond”

Valerie also attended the Walk Down Wall Street interterm travel course, where she got an inside look at some of the most prestigious firms in finance. After graduation, Valerie plans to work as a financial analyst at a bank or financial institution, while pursuing her license exams and CFA designation. After a few years of work experience, she plans to return to school to get a graduate degree.

Orion Lawler

Orion headshot

As a second-year MBA, Orion joined the residency program with competition and pre-MBA experience. As a first-year MBA, he competed in the 2016 Southern California ACG Cup, on a team with other MBA students representing Chapman University. He was part of the winning team in the CFAOC Portfolio Competition, presenting the team’s US Equity strategy and assisting in development of the team’s asset allocation model. His pre-MBA work experience includes business and data analytics, financial analysis, and project management in banking and high technology. He additionally completed a graduate internship in equity research at a boutique investment bank. Orion’s banking and equity research experience gave him subject matter expertise in researching Opus Bank, as he leveraged this experience to help the team develop the valuation models and financial analysis.

We asked Orion why he joined the residency program:

“I joined the residency program to gain more experience in the investment decision-making process. It has provided me the opportunity to collaborate with other students who have a strong passion for investment analysis.”

Orion aspires to pursue asset management after his MBA, and to ultimately start his own hedge fund.

Follow their journey through Seattle on Facebook and with #CFAResearchChallenge. Best of luck to our Chapman team!