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Economics student's career plan is on the RISE


His goal is Wall Street or the Chicago Board of Trade, and he's on a frenetic pace this semester that mirrors the trading floor. 

Nick Jones is helping to manage $2.1 million in equities. He's rubbing shoulders with two Federal Reserve presidents as well as some of the top equity managers and prognosticators he follows on business TV. He's studying with one of the professors who wrote the book for part of the CFA (chartered financial analyst) exam. He's taking a full load of graduate classes. He's teaching a macroeconomics course. And he already posted an excellent score on the Bloomberg exam.

Jones is a student in the Master of Financial Economics program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University.  

The $2 Million Portfolio

The Ohio University Student Equity Management Group managers don't get course credit or extra points. They get the experience of managing a $2.1 million equity fund for the Ohio University Foundation. 

And they get the thrill, Jones says, of researching companies for a few weeks, presenting their 20-page findings to the group of about 25 other student managers. And sometimes they get the satisfaction of "seeing the same information on the business news a few weeks later."

"It's the most value-adding experience I've had here at Ohio University," says Jones, who took to economics and pricing strategies like riding a bike. "Economics is most interesting to me as a subject because it was very intuitive for me. It just seemed to click."

The Networking Opportunities

On April 4-5, Jones and several business students from the Student Equity Fund headed to the RISE Forum, sponsored by the University of Dayton in association with the United Nations Global Compact. 

The RISE Forum bills itself as today's top financial minds in the same room with tomorrow's leaders. Among the luminaries Jones went to hear: 

•Charles L. Evans, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

•Dennis Lockhart, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

•Robert S. Kapito, President and Director of BlackRock

•Steve Liesman, Senior Economics Reporter with CNBC

•Stephanie Link, CIO and Co-Portfolio Manager with TheStreet, Inc.


"To be able to get my face in front of industry leaders at the networking seminar run by the CFA Institute, to network with some of them as I'm looking for a position in June, was the best part of the conference," says Jones, who notes proudly that Ohio University's Master of Financial Economics program was recently endorsed by the CFA Institute for incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of knowledge (COBK) and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standard Practices within the program. 

The Professor Who Wrote the Book

The Chartered Financial Analyst® designation is the most respected and recognized investment credential worldwide. It has several levels, and it takes years to complete the examinations. The Department of Economics offers the Master of Financial Economics (MFE) degree in collaboration with the College of Business's Department of Finance and School of Accountancy. 

Jones is studying this semester with John D. Stowe, O'Bleness Professor of Finance, whose many accolades include co-authoring the study guide for Level II CFA exam, "Equity Asset Valuation."

Jones said he enjoyed studying with Stowe and Bolong Cao, both CFA charter holders, along with his adviser Khosrow Doroodian and Xi Liu, who joined the Economics faculty in fall 2012.

The Career Preparation

"In our graduate financial economics program (MFE), students study economics, finance and accounting to prepare themselves for a prestigious designation called Chartered Financial Analyst.  Students have to pass the CFA test, but our coursework helps them prepare," says Rosemary Rossiter, professor and chair of economics. "Our alumni live and work all around the world, enjoying a variety of careers and professions. When they return for visits, alumni tell us that their preparation in economics helps them ‘out-think' their co-workers and competitors.

"Nick had an excellent score on the Bloomberg exam—scoring in the 95th percentile among 66,000 global applicants," Rossiter said. "His master's in financial economics, his Bloomberg score and his networking at RISE will boost his chances in a competitive job market."

"After finishing my master's degree in financial economics at Ohio University in June of 2013, I am looking to pursue a position that would lead to me becoming an investment analyst and in particular an equity analyst," says Jones on his LinkedIn profile. "Wanting to be exceptional in this field, I would be looking to move to either New York City or Chicago after graduation."