Five seniors awarded CFA exam scholarships

Vincent Gennaro, Cathy Wang, Bayan Misaghi, Eduardo Olondriz and Sarah Beth Hampton will get some help on their way to becoming Chartered Financial Analysts.

Maria Rachal

Five Washington and Lee seniors have been recognized by the university and the CFA Institute as 2015 recipients of Chartered Financial Analyst exam scholarships. The CFA exam is a series of tests which people take to become a chartered financial analyst.

This year’s senior recipients are Vincent Gennaro, Cathy Wang, Bayan Misaghi, Eduardo Olondriz and Sarah Beth Hampton.

These scholarships reduce the cost of preparing for and taking the first level of the CFA exam from $1,400 to $350. Additionally, scholarship recipients receive books from the CFA Institute on applicable topics to help them study for the exams, as the graduate program follows a self-study system.

At W&L, which is a CFA recognized university, Professor of Business Administration and Finance Adam Schwartz is the CFA campus contact who can award up to five CFA exam scholarships to students nearing graduation.

“The scholarships are competitive and I award them to students who I think have a good chance of becoming a CFA,” Schwartz said.

CFA exams are offered every June. Obtaining a CFA charter requires passing all three levels of the exam, which are each separate tests. Only one in eight people who go through the exam process achieve chartered financial analyst status, giving people who gain CFA distinction an advantage in the job market.

Hampton, an Economics and Business Administration double major, will be working for JP Morgan Sales and Trading following graduation. She credits Professor Schwartz’s encouragement and her experience as Executive Director of the Williams Investment Society as primary factors in her attainment of the scholarship.

Misaghi, a Business Administration, Economics, and Biology triple major, was also involved in the Williams Investment Society as Associate Director.

“The coursework I’ve pursued, the relationships I’ve built with professors like Professors Schwartz and Kester, and the internships I had last summer at Harris Williams & Co. and Goldman Sachs have given me the confirmation I needed to pursue a career in finance,” Misaghi said. “The scholarship is great motivation to start early on becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst and to continue a formal course of study post-W&L.”

Rising seniors interested in applying can attend an informational meeting in October 2015. Students of any major can apply, but students with backgrounds in accounting, economics, finance, and statistics are best prepared.