The PRMIA Risk Management Challenge (PRMC) is organized by the renowned Professional Risk Managers’ International Association each year. It provides students from different parts of the world the opportunity to solve real-world enterprise risk management problems as well as build their network of risk professionals. It was an honour for us, Team Risk Solver, to represent SFU for the final global challenge in New York this year. We are delighted to share our exciting moments and what we have learned there!
For one thing, it was good to see an amazing display of both teamwork and spirit during the competition. Although team members were supposed to be responsible for their own parts in the case, everyone had a good idea of what other teammates were talking about and supported each other when challenged by the judges. Our team also showed a united front. We spent plenty of time together each week leading up to the competition as we studied the case. Whenever one of us encountered a problem, the rest of the group would pool our resources to find a solution together. This sense of teamwork transitioned well in our final presentation to the judges.
During the competition, we were surprised to see many creative presentation styles in the final round. For instance, a team used a panel discussion style to present their case—one of them as the host and the others as interviewees. This was refreshing to see as an audience member because the group was able to tell a coherent story for the case, which was easier to understand and impressed the audiences.
In addition, we gained a lot of useful insight from the judges as well as observing the winning team’s financial models. As experienced professionals in the risk management industry, the judges were very generous sharing their understanding of risk and career development in financial institutions. While watching the fascinating models in the champion team’s presentation, we had a better idea of using different methods and ratios to monitor the changes and predict possible outcomes.
We would like to thank Professor Jijun Niu, Derek Yee and Jan Simon, who helped us prepare and improve our case study. Also, Mr. Andrei Balezin from SFU Beedie Career Management Centre who helped us network with two outstanding Beedie Alumni in New York: Brian Haines, VP of Bank of America, and Sisi Zhang, VP of JP Morgan. They shared with us their wonderful student experience in the MSc Finance program and stories after graduation. Finally, we are grateful to all the classmates in Cohort 2017, including but not limited to Diego Costa, Vinayak Gunda, and all those who took part in the PRMIA competition, who encouraged us and made us a better team!
Rui (Rachel) Zhang is an SFU Beedie MSc Finance candidate and part of the Student Investment Advisory Service (SIAS) where she currently holds the role of Fixed Income Portfolio Manager.