Finance students beat out MBA competition from Harvard and UT
Adil Rajabali and Loc Dang, undergraduate finance students from the C. T. Bauer College of Business, took second place in the annual Investment Banking Scholars Club (IBSC) Oil and Gas Valuation Case Competition, which attracted competitors from across the nation.
The competition, hosted by student-run Investment Banking Scholars Club and Wall Street Training, provides a platform for students to test their knowledge in investment banking and oil and gas valuations.
“The competition requires a fairly good understanding of what drives value in a company, what is the value proposition in that particular industry and what are the proper ways of valuing a company,” Rajabali said. “However, our team had the capabilities of competing in the competition from prior internship experience and independently learning about valuations using stacks and stacks of library books and case studies.”
Rajabali and Dang were the only undergraduates competing against MBA and graduate students from universities such as Harvard, University of Texas and a Canadian business school.
“It was important for us to beat these MBA teams in order to put UH on the map in terms of the finance program,” Rajabali said. “Now, it’s time for the finance program to be competitive with Ivy League schools that are historically known to dominate this area. We want to make that a clear point by being competitive in these types of competitions.”
Preparing for and participating in these competitions put students in the position of bankers or equity researchers, providing minimal parameters and generalized deliverables and requiring creativity and intuition from the team.
“This is extremely important because finance has a lot of concepts that are hard to understand unless you apply it in a practical manner. Finance is very unique in which you are never right or wrong, but you must support your thesis or conclusion with tons of data and realistic assumptions,” Rajabali said.
Rajabali credits his interest in investment banking to the college’s Cougar Fund, a student-managed private investment fund.
“Ever since my first semester at Bauer, I have had multiple opportunities of being surrounded by graduates from the Cougar Fund,” Rajabali said. “Their feedback, advice and knowledge helped me better position myself to break in to investment banking.”
By Ann Lynd