Monday, January 26, 2009

Some Exceptional Students

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the graduation dinner for one of my students. It's times like these that make me realize just how much I enjoy being a professor. Like many (if not most) of my tribe, I get my share of clueless, unmotivated slackers in my classes (luckily, not that many). But since I run our student-managed fund and work closely with the students sitting for the CFA exam, I also get to see the absolute best students our college has to offer. This weekend was a perfect example.

The guest of honor for the evening had taken several different classes with me, had been very involved in our student-managed investment fund, and had passed the CFA level 1 exam before he graduated. I'd guess that I've gotten to know him better than any student I've had in the last 12 years or so - he took one of the first investment classes I taught at Unknown University, and has been a constant presence in my office since. Among the other guests (along with about 25 family members) were his three closest friends from our finance program (one graduated with him in December and two this last June). I consider all four of them to be "my students", and they were a fun bunch to have - all extremely bright, hard working (well, most of the time), and passionate about finance. So (like I do with the Unknown Kids), let me brag about them a bit:
  • Two of the students had GPAs north of 3.9, and the other a GPA of 3.6.
  • In their graduating classes, one was given an award as the top accounting student (he was a dual major), and one as the top finance student
  • Two have already passed the CFA level 1 exam and plan sitting for Level 2 this June, the third just missed the LEvel 1 exam the first time and just re-sat for it this last December (I have no doubt he nailed it this time), and the fourth is sitting for it in June
  • Among the four, we have one who's an auditor for a Big 4 accounting firm (he hopes to move to their transactions advisory group and eventually to a PE firm), one who'll be in a commercial lending training program for one of the largest banks in the country, one who works for a hedge fund, and one who has an interview for a mid-office position at a major investment management firm.
They're to a one all great kids. I'm looking forward to seeing what they accomplish over the next twenty years or so, and hopefully seeing them start families and make their way in the world.

It was fun watching the four of them at the party. They're a close knit bunch, and there's a friendship among them that I hope will stand the test of time. And, their wife, fiancee, and girlfriend all seem to get along (there's one of each, and the fourth is currently single and unattached, so the other three joke that they get to live a "single" life vicariously through him).

Well done, lads.