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SMIF is Not Just for Finance Majors

By Liz Calvo

Photo Credit to Bloomberg

Have you ever wondered where you can go to learn about finances and stock markets? Do you want to have an internship in the finance field? The Barry University Student Managed Investment Fund is worth investigating. So, The Buccaneer has done the work for you.

What is SMIF

The Barry University Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) is a student-founded and student-run investment research and management organization with the idea of giving students hands-on experience in the world of finances and investment.

SMIF was founded at Barry University in 2011 with two main purposes.

Photo Credit to QS Study

The first purpose is to provide a place where students can learn with firsthand experiences and classroom application such as theories, concepts, and principles of security research and valuation and the design, construction and management of portfolios of securities.

The second purpose is to contribute to the community well-being by providing service learning and financial literacy programs through collaborative and mutual partnerships with public schools.

Martina Muñoz Chalan, the co-managing director for SMIF, explains that SMIF “focuses on service learning by working with community partners to improve the financial wellness of our community by giving courses on financial literacy.”

What does SMIF do?

SMIF manages a portion and adds to the overall growth of the Barry University Endowment Fund as well as conducts business at the highest, ethical, and professional standards.

Graphic Credit to Community Action Provo

According to Eric Yang, a Barry alumnus and former co-director of the club, “SMIF has created many different opportunities for student engagement with their community. One of these experiences is partnering with William H. Tuner Technical Arts High School.”

Yang states that “being able to teach high school students how to manage finances has been an eye-opening experience.”

The organization has also taught high school and middle school students to save and budget their money.

“Right now, we are teaching students using a stock simulator about the stock market and how to buy stocks,” said Yang.

What can students get from SMIF?

It is not required that students be a finance major to join SMIF because finances are a skill any student will use daily as a student and as a post-graduate.

Graphic Credit to SC State Treasurer

SMIF Faculty Advisor, Dr. Stephen Morrell notes that “SMIF students have proven themselves highly prepared and productive in this competitive field, that is why top investment managements firms are actively recruiting Barry SMIF graduates.”

Muñoz Chalan said that students “will get real life experience as a financial and investment analyst and manage their own portfolio, analyze securities and learn to use financial tools.”

Students are also able to use financials tool that are commonly used in SMIF such as the Bloomberg Terminal, a computer software system that provides real-time financial data, news feeds, messages and facilitates the placement of financial transactions.

“Students will be able to network with other professional for job and internship opportunities,” said Muñoz Chalan.

Anastasiia Samokhvalova is a member of SMIF and is also a finance and accounting major.

“This is the best internship on campus; you will meet many great mentors and colleagues and have opportunities to advance in the future career and build long-term relationships,” she said.

Conferences

There are multiple events and conferences that occur throughout the year. Some of the most notable and recent conferences and event includes the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E) Forum, the Miami International Securities Exchange (MIAX) conference and the Charter Financial Analyst (CFA) society dinner.

Photo Credit to The Training Associates

Yang mentioned his experience with these conferences.

“My favorite conference I have attended with SMIF took place in Chicago. It was a privilege I was given as a member of SMIF,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to explore a new part of the United States and I was so excited to see snow and eat deep dish pizza.”

Although due to the pandemic many events were cancelled as to prevent the spread of the virus, Adriel Solórzano, Co-Managing Director of SMIF, states that “throughout the year we will still have different events in SMIF in order to give students a chance to network with professionals and possible job opportunities.”

Application process and Mentoring

If you are dedicated to putting in time and effort to learn about managing finances, then you are a viable candidate.

At the beginning of each semester there will be a boot camp held to give students a rundown of what they need to know in order to be a part of SMIF. The boot camp lasts for three days.

Once you are accepted into SMIF you will start as an apprentice. Through the apprenticeship, you will begin to learn everything you need to catch up with the senior members and learn more as you go on through mentorships such as the 20-person Advisory Board.

Solórzano mentions that “The AB treats their students like young investment professionals. In return the AB requires and demands performance and accountability.

Meeting Days

SMIF meets on a weekly basis. During the fall semester, meetings occurs on Thursdays and in the Spring semester on Wednesdays. Both semesters have meetings from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

For the application and further information, you can go to the SMIF website.

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