Investing Globally in Future Careers

PROVO, Utah – Nov 08, 2017 – Traveling to the top cities in the world, mentoring from world-class educators, managing a real fund, and working with executives from top companies and investment firms. That’s what Brigham Young University students participating in the Global Finance Investment Internship (GFI²) experienced this past spring term thanks to what’s billed as “the nation’s only true global, student-managed investment fund.”

Led by BYU Marriott School of Business finance professor Bryan Sudweeks and adjunct professor Jim Seaberg, the program, now in its fifth year, starts with a course on campus where students perform country and industry analysis on two dozen companies to find investments for a real fund. The students then take that analysis and add information from firsthand visits to companies through interviews with C-level management. Following the trip, the experience culminates in presentations to local portfolio managers and recommendations for investment in the fund.

“The internship’s goal is to give students the tools to be as successful as any asset management grad in the country,” says Seaberg, a BYU Marriott accounting alum who is the founder and managing partner of Lodestar Capital. “It provides real-world investing experience that enables students to be successful in getting a good first job, which in turn gives them a fast start in their careers. And if they have a fast start in their careers, the more successful they can be over time and the more they can give back to their communities.”

In May, twenty-four students canvassed Europe, visiting Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and other cities. Cultural experiences, including alphorn lessons and chocolate tasting, complemented the business agenda. Students met with top executives from companies such as Adidas, BMW, and Rightmove in a study abroad experience that combined real-life business exposure with true global literacy.

“We had amazing opportunities,” says Rachel Durtschi, a strategy senior who recently completed an internship with McKinsey. “For example, we had the chance to meet with the CEO of a multibillion dollar company in the Netherlands. He was so intelligent, and as he gave us a tour of the facility, he explained all the nuts and bolts of the organization at the highest level of strategy.”

For Durtschi, self-described as a “small-town rural America girl” from Idaho, the experience was transformative.

“It was an incredible opportunity to see things in a new light,” Durtschi says. “I had the chance to go out in the world and get a diversity of thought in real-life situations.”

Christian Thatcher, an economics senior who interned with AltaLink Capital and Lodestar Capital this summer, believes the program set him apart when meeting with recruiters.

“When I went into interviews, I could show the valuations I did, the companies I visited, the models I ran, and a report I wrote up and presented that included an investment recommendation implemented by a firm,” Thatcher says. “When you have actual hard materials you can bring in with you, it pays dividends.”

As employers increasingly look for graduates who have unique experiences outside of the classroom, the Global Finance Investment Internship broadens students’ perspectives and equips them with asset management skills greatly needed in an increasingly international business world.

“GFI² is perfect for any student interested in business because it gives you a broad exposure to many industries and you develop real-world understanding,” Durtschi said. “It’s such a good investment and I would 100 percent recommend it.”

The GFI2 group visit Adidas
Members of GFI2 sightseeing

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Jordan Christiansen