WMU student team claims top spot at finance competition

Contact: Samantha Hooker

Left to right: Sam Sheeran, Novena Sutiono and Kyle Mack hold their awards.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A team of three Western Michigan University students claimed first place at the local CFA Institute Research Challenge. The competition team was supported by Michael Storms, certified financial analyst at Greenleaf Trust and faculty advisor, and David Burnie, professor of finance.

Novena Sutiono, Kyle Mack and Sam Sheeran, all seniors majoring in finance, were challenged with completing an investment research report on Domino’s Pizza which supported buying, selling or holding the company’s stock. The team prepared their written report, which was evaluated separately from their presentation. The judges’ combined scores cemented the team’s success.

“We went above and beyond when preparing for the competition,” says Sutiono. “I think one of the things that set us apart was speaking to an actual Domino’s franchise owner to gain valuable insights into the company.”

The importance of real-world immersion wasn’t lost on Mack. “It was great to have the opportunity to use the information and lessons that we’ve learned in the classroom,” he says. “Working with skilled professionals in the industry, like Mr. Storms and Dr. Burnie, is incredibly valuable.”

“Preparing for this challenge was hard work, but it was a great way to get exposure and is an excellent addition to a resume,” says Sheeran. “I know I’ve gained important resources that I can apply to the professional world.”


The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. The challenge attracts more than 6,000 students from over 1,000 universities annually.

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