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Student Success: World Ready Brandeis IBS Teams

Winning the World

CFA Research Challenge Winning Team

Brandeis IBS students take top honors against Ivy League competitors in experiential learning competitions
March 4, 2016

by Theresa Gaffney, '16

In the span of one week, student teams from Brandeis International Business School (IBS) beat such competitors as Columbia, Yale and Tufts in local, national and global business competitions. 

Three Brandeis IBS students swept Ansarada’s M&A Deal Master competition. The Australian company provides virtual data rooms where M&A professionals – sellers, advisors and analysts – interact on all ends of a deal. The competition was open only to students from Brandeis IBS, Columbia, Wharton and Yale, and asked them to buy, sell and merge companies in an environment where “ethics [were] strictly optional,” according to Ansarada’s website.

“The game was addicting,” said Riddhish Rege, MA ’16, the overall third-place winner and co-president of the Brandeis IBS Private Equity Club. “We couldn’t keep away from our cell phones the whole week.” Rege discovered the competition through the Private Equity Club and encouraged Brandeis IBS students to participate over their February break.

Alongside Rege, Brandeis IBS students Xiaomin Han, MSF ‘16 and Angie Wu, MA ’17, took first and second place in the competition. All three were awarded monetary prizes and a trip to the winners’ reception in New York City, where they networked with investment executives. Private Equity Club advisor and professor Mike McKay was not surprised by the students’ initiative and success. “Brandeis IBS students can compete successfully against the top students in finance and M&A from any other institution,” he said. “I’m very proud of them – they deserve all the credit for finding the competition, and of course, for the results they achieved.”

In the same week, a team of students coached by Professor Alfonso Canella competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge Boston Finals, an annual competition focused on financial analysis. For the fourth year in a row, Brandeis IBS placed first ahead of other Boston-area schools and will move on to the Americas Regional Competition in Chicago next month.

The winning team included Riddhish Rege, Rustom Dalal, MA ‘16, Anton Mokhovikov, MA ‘16, Mariia Vishniakova, MA ‘16 and Yichuan Liu, MA ’16.

“This kind of competition is the best training you can have before getting a full-time job,” said Mokhovikov. “Professor Canella made us think about things in a different way and pushed us to reach our full potential.”

Later that week, students from the Brandeis IBS chapter of the National Association for Business and Economics (NABE) organized the annual Crisis Game competition, which asks teams to craft policy solutions to a simulated economic crisis. This year’s situation was modeled after the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. The Brandeis IBS team came in third ahead of Tufts University. Students gained real-world experience both on the team and as organizers of the competition under the leadership of MA Program Director and Professor Aldo Musacchio.

“The process of designing a case based on a real crisis requires a great deal of knowledge not just about the facts, but of the global implications,” said Ted Ryoo ’16, MA ’17, an event organizer.

Ryoo’s closing remarks describe all three competitions. “Sure, it was challenging. But it was equally fun to work with my classmates on this endeavor.”