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A student org that you can invest in—literally

What happens when we trust our students with $2.1 million to invest in companies that trade in stock exchange? They get a window into how real investment works outside the classroom.

  •   Author: Michal Rubingh interviewed Fernando Vigil
  •   Published: October 2, 2019
  •   Categories: Academics
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Fernando Vigil is an accounting and economics student who values the real-life experience he’s gotten outside of the classroom. Here’s what he has to say about his time in the Knight Investment Management (KIM) club, a student organization at Calvin:

What does a typical meeting look like?

Every week we have a pitch. That’s where a certain group of people gets together and does research on companies that trade in stock exchange. They present their research to the whole group and explain why we should buy into this company. Then people vote. We’re in charge of $2.1 million of Calvin’s endowment, and we get to decide how we invest that.

How did you get connected to KIM, and what’s your role now?

I think one of my professors encouraged me to apply. I was a regular member for a year and a half, and then I took a couple classes with Professor Van Drunen, and he encouraged me to apply for leadership. Now I’m the chief investment officer. I’m in charge of the bigger investment decisions that go into allocating our money. And I help the leaders of every sector compile their pitch for the week and grade their pitch before it’s presented.

How has KIM helped you professionally?

It gave me a better idea of how real investment works. I have conversations with Professor Van Drunen pretty often about where we see organizations going.

We’re really well-connected with a lot of local finance businesses. The director of a local company came to talk to us, and afterwards he told us he was looking for a senior to hire. He sent a job posting just for us. Those opportunities are hard to get if you’re not connected in the right circles.

What are some of the perks of being part of KIM?

My first year, my sector went out to a semi-fancy restaurant. We dressed up and ate and talked for two hours. This past spring we had some leftover money so we went to Craig’s Cruisers for go-kart racing. Plus, I have a lot of friends I’ve met through KIM.

  •   Author: Michal Rubingh interviewed Fernando Vigil
  •   Published: October 2, 2019
  •   Categories: Academics


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