Justin Rantucci and Steven Fiust speak highly of their education at Okanagan College, but there is one thing they would like to change.
When networking with other finance students at post-secondary institutions across Canada, they learned that schools with a student-run investment fund seemed to result in a better transition to finance careers for their graduates.
Seeing an opportunity to provide hands-on experience for more OC students while building capacity locally, Rantucci, Fiust and fellow student Riley Dunsmore are looking to launch a student investment fund at Okanagan College.
The group is partnering with the Okanagan College Foundation and the School of Business to invite the community to donate to their initial fundraising goal of $100,000 in order to launch the fund this spring.
The long-term goal is to create a $500,000 fund that would see returns distributed back to students in the form of bursaries and grants, supporting many OC students in paying for their education.
William Gillett, OC’s Dean of Business, says donors have an opportunity to help shape the next generation of investors.
“This is an exciting opportunity to support hands-on learning for business students and meet our community’s evolving needs,” says Gillett.
“This fund will create a formative experience for local finance students who will go on to care for personal and family investments or help local businesses grow and thrive.”
The fund would be held by the Okanagan College Foundation and provide opportunities for students to gain experience in security analysis, investment management and leadership prior to seeking careers in the industry.
With the support of a dedicated advisory board comprising of business professors, finance industry experts and portfolio mentors, the students will analyze, recommend and execute approved trades.
“As a graduate of OC’s finance program, I understand the challenges of transitioning to employment,” says Rantucci, a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours graduate and Corporate Finance Associate at ECMB Capital Partners.
“I am excited to be a part of the solution — the fund will have a substantial impact on the education and ability to land careers in finance for generations of OC students.”
The students already have several supporters including Harold Wirick, who gave a generous gift towards the initiative which he believes will create greater financial acumen in students.
“As someone who has benefited from the market, I am excited to support young people in learning the principles of investing,” says Wirick.
There are more than 500 student-led investment funds at colleges and universities in Canada and the United States with the funds recognized as an invaluable learning tool for finance students. Provincially, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University also have student investment funds.
To learn more about the student investment fund or to donate, visit https://trellis.org/studentinvestmentfund.
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