UTC’s SMILE Fund team members make it to competition finals. (Photo: Contributed)

A group from UTC’s College of Business made it to the finals of an international competition for the first time.

Five undergraduates recently excelled at the Chartered Financial Analyst Investment Research Challenge in Boston. The students are all members of the Student Managed Investment Learning Experience Fund team.

This is the first time a UTC team has made it to the Americas Regional finals. They made it to the 2017 regionals but didn’t advance.


“It was truly a team effort to make it as far as we did,” SMILE Fund team member Shane Cortiss said in a prepared statement. “As the only all-undergraduate team that made it to the final round, it was amazing. I could not be more proud of the team.”

The competition pits college students from across the world against each other with the goal of creating the best in-depth and results-oriented research on a specific company. Each team creates a report with a buy, sell or hold recommendation then presents and defends its choice to a panel of industry professionals.

“It also helps us students see how much we can learn when applying everything from our classes and the SMILE Fund,” Cortiss said.

In order to make it the finals, the SMILE Fund team had to beat five other teams: University of Waterloo, Seattle University, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Brigham Young University-Idaho and California Polytechnic State University.

More than 1,000 teams from universities in more than 80 countries took part in the 2018 competition. Nearly 500 universities competed in the Americas Regional competition and 54 made it to the semifinals.

The SMILE Fund team is a group of UTC College of Business students that are learning about investment strategies through a $250,000 donation. Members of the team are in charge of studying stock market trends and make decisions based on this research. The team also competes in related competitions.