Capstone Project Is a Solid Investment

With his sights set on a career in private equity, Trevor Wheeler chose to pursue dual degrees—a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance. “The great reputation was the #1 reason I chose Stuart,” he says. “The coursework was challenging and interesting, and the faculty always seemed to make time for the students.”

One of those faculty was Associate Professor of Finance Sang Baum Kang, who guided Wheeler in a capstone project designed to develop an optimal portfolio and trading strategy within the alternative energy sector. Using a combination of financial analysis, statistical analysis, and machine learning, the project was a chance for Wheeler to put what he learned in his finance and business administration classes to the test and increase his knowledge of valuation techniques.

Wheeler and Kang began by gathering data from the financial statements of about 100 publicly traded companies, looking at metrics such as growth, profitability, capital structure, and efficiency. Then they created a long/short trading strategy and utilized machine learning techniques to verify the results for each year. Wheeler wrapped up the project by compiling the data and writing a paper summarizing the findings.

Not only was working with Kang a highlight of Wheeler’s graduate studies, the experience was one of his best examples to use in job interviews. “I am able to speak about the entire investment and trading process,” he says, “starting with an idea, converting that idea into data, analyzing the data, then developing a strategy based off the analysis.”

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