Finance Students Receive Honorable Mention in Risk Management Competition

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By Scott Lewis

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A team of three graduate students from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business was awarded honorable mention for its strong showing in the Chicago regional competition of the 2021 PRMIA Risk Management Challenge. The annual competition draws teams from universities around the world and awards $10,000 to the winning team.

Team members Hajer Aljadani (M.S. in Finance student), Jessica Oakes (Master of Mathematical Finance student), and Pattama Tongphong (M.S. in Finance student) ended up in a very close second-place finish to a team from Georgia State University, which won on a tiebreaker to advance from the region to the PRMIA Challenge international finals. Contest judges recognized the Illinois Tech team “for demonstrating significant depth of analysis in their executive summary and presentation.”

In the competition, which is sponsored by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association, students research and analyze a real risk industry case scenario and present a risk assessment recommendation for judging by a panel of industry professionals.

Associate Professor of Finance Yiwei Fang and Associate Professor of Finance Sang Baum Kang serve as co-advisers for Illinois Tech’s PRMIA Challenge teams. Kang notes that the benefits for students participating in the competition include working as a team to complete a complex project in finance, exercising their creativity to find solutions, and gaining a greater understanding of the risk management profession and potential jobs.

The three team members say that the experience extended their graduate studies beyond the classroom. For Aljadani, the case study was an opportunity to apply what she learned in her courses. “It helped me understand how important risk management is and how it affects decision-making,” she says.

“I received exposure to the more qualitative aspects of risk management,” Oakes says. “I enjoyed the chance to present and to think on my feet to respond to questions.”

“The PRIMA Challenge has been a great way for me to use the knowledge from my classes to solve a real-life case study problem, as well as to connect with risk management professionals,” says Tongphong. “The more I have realized the importance of risk management for companies, the more passionate I have become about it.”

Photo: [From left] Hajer Aljadani, Jessica Oakes, and Pattama Tongphong (photos provided)