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HomeUncategorizedBelmont Business Teams Win Big at International Competitions

Belmont Business Teams Win Big at International Competitions

Students from the Massey College of Business struck again this past week, landing major awards at two different international competitions.

CFATeamThe Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company — sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management. Each team writes a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation and may be asked to present and defend their analysis to a panel of industry professionals.

Belmont’s CFA team team consisted of senior finance major Cody Fincher, junior finance major Nate Newcomb, accelerated MBA student Gray Finney, and Professional MBA students William Gilmore and Lauren Vandermark. After winning the Nashville/East Tennessee regional competition last month, the team moved on last week to the Americas competition in Atlanta, which included 350+ teams from the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. Belmont’s team finished third overall among all Americas teams—their presentation on Ryman Hospitality can be seen here (fifth video down from the top of the page).

Dr. Joe Smolira, associate professor of finance and the team’s advisor, said, “The students on the team did a fantastic job, progressing farther in the competition than any Tennessee team has ever gone. Finishing in the Top 5 out of more than 350 universities in the Western Hemisphere is phenomenal. Beating Rutgers head-to-head in the semifinals shows the analytic and presentation skills these students have as most of the Rutgers team will probably be working on Wall Street next year.”

Meanwhile, 21 of Belmont’s 23 student representatives placed in the top 10 in their respective events at the DECA International Career Development Conference held this week in Orlando. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Collegiate DECA’s Competitive Events Program allows students to put their experience, skills and knowledge to the test while representing their college or university. Students compete for top international honors in one of 24 different competitions. Collegiate DECA competitive events recognize student achievement, provide opportunities for traveling to conferences and networking with peers. The Collegiate DECA Competitive Events Program is recognized for helping to prepare students for their professional careers–in all events students are judged by business and industry professionals.

“This was a particularly good year for Belmont’s DECA team,” said Professor of Entrepreneurship Dr. Jeff Cornwall, who advises the team along with Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Lora Harding and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Dr. Mark Schenkel. “The student leaders stepped up and became much more involved. The students who went to nationals clearly were there to work hard and learn.  All three faculty advisors were excited to support such a great group of students.”

Of particular note, seven of Belmont’s eight student teams advanced to the final round of the Entrepreneurship Challenge, and all seven ultimately placed in the top 10.


Entrepreneurship Challenge
1st Place (of 53 teams): Keaton Crawford, Grace McCaw and Riley Bauer
3rd Place: Jennifer Baiada, Jaclyn Tomlinson and Zachary Luci
Top Ten: Elizabeth Rhyne, Mason Foote, Matt Metsker, Marissa Begin, Ben Mathews, Alyssa Aloyo, Taylor Fish, Sam Dallas, Kayla Henry, Levis Padron, Ally Sizemore, Caroline D’Andrea and Cole Auville

Case Competitions

3rd Place (of 46+ teams) in Sports and Entertainment Marketing: Keaton Crawford and Rachel Hawk
Top 10 Finalist (of 32+ students) in Sales Management Meeting: Zach Luci
Top 10 Finalist (of 47+ students) in Human Resource Management: Ally Sizemore


Top 10 Finalist (of 21+ students) in Corporate Finance: Riley Bauer
Top 10 Finalist (of 36+ students) in Travel and Tourism: Levis Padron

Prepared Events

Top 10 Finalist in Project Management: Olivia Holt-Hall

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