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Shavers Attends G.A.M.E. Forum in New York City

IIT Stuart students at GAME Forum 2015Jeremiah Shavers, a student in the undergraduate business program, shares his reflections on attending the 5th Annual Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E) Forum in NYC.

For college students interested in learning more about financial markets, the place to do it is at the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. Forum. This is an event that is geared toward educating students by having various members of the financial sector share their vast wealth of knowledge with the up and coming generation. I had the esteemed privilege of attending the 5th annual Global Asset Management Allocation (G.A.M.E.) Forum held in Manhattan from March 19-21. The New York-based conference hosted over 1,200 students from more than 140 colleges and 40 countries, who were all eager to expound upon their knowledge of the financial industry.

The event began with industry leaders talking about major topics affecting the financial industry. Speakers such as Joseph Cohen (Senior Investment Strategist and President of the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs) and Emanuella Enenajor (Senior Canada and U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research) discussed how factors such as corporate governance and global markets shape the industry today. Corporate governance is a major trend following the recent struggles in the financial industry, including all the corporate bailouts that resulted in the nation’s financial collapse. The speakers went over how stricter rules are being put in place for corporations in order to ensure that companies behave more ethically as well as more fiscally responsible.

The next major trend discussed was global markets and the global economy. The speakers discussed in depth about how different markets from around the world are affected by different rules and trends in their regions. For instance, certain markets such as Brazil are very rapidly developing into high growth markets, and they are the places to keep an eye one in the coming years. Conversely, certain markets such as Greece have been sluggish for a long period of time, making them less stable markets to avoid.

The structure of these talks was a town hall Q&A. The panel members set up the scenario, and then the audience had a chance to ask questions and start a dialogue between the panelists and the audience. What struck me most about the panelists was how open, honest, and down to earth they behaved. These panelists were very candid about their experiences as well as the positive and negative aspects of the financial market itself. They genuinely wanted to assist the students there while accurately depicting what to expect if one is interested in exploring this field as a career.

The next day was dedicated to smaller breakout sessions to give participants a more focused and in-depth view of different aspects of the industry. The break out session that impacted me the most was the session on industry forecasting. This session stuck with me because the speakers gave a very captivating account of how they approach this subject. When forecasting, it is important to have a reasonable prediction model to reliably provide quality metrics. However, models are easy to find and everyone has different models that they use. What is more important is finding quality and worthwhile data to enter into the model. This is a skill that is much harder to find due to the dynamic nature of the industry. The speakers work tirelessly to ensure they have proper data to work with by continuously building a network of contacts in the field. This shows how invaluable the connections you make on the job are, and this is a lesson I plan to remember for the rest of my professional career.

All in all, it was a very exciting and informative conference that I feel blessed to have attended. The major topics provided more info about the industry, both on a national and a global scale. I feel as if I gained a large amount of knowledge at this event, and I feel not only more informed, but also empowered to proceed into the financial world.