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Finalists of CFA Institute Research Challenge in Switzerland getting ready for presentations or What does it take to win the Research Challenge?

Written by Jeffrey Anhut, COO, CFA Society Switzerland

If repetition is the mother of all learning, then the master’s students participating in the Research Challenge bootcamp learned a lot. Hosted on 27 and 28 January 2020 in the Bern offices of Credit Swiss and in conjunction with the CFA Society Switzerland, students were offered a unique opportunity to develop softs skills which are vital to success, not only in the Research Challenge, but also for landing that all elusive first job or first client. With the expert assistance of a professional trainer, the aspiring financial analysts got a master class in presence and presentation skills.

“Stop, take a deep breath, do it again. You can do it, you got this.” These exhorting words were a repeated mantra for trainer Karen Cody who didn’t let students stop practicing until they had got their presentations right. With patience, wit and over 25 years’ HR experience developing talent, Cody International CEO, Karen Cody challenged the students to “check their egos at the door,” to accept feedback and learn how to give a great presentation. What became clear to the students was that it wasn’t so much about know-how rather the ability to communicate their message.

As part of the buildup to the Research Challenge Swiss finals, CFA Society Switzerland members and Research Challenge supervisors, Mirjana Wojtal, PhD, Olivier P. Müller, CFA and Florian Esterer, CFA reiterated this point numerous times to the students. “You all have the technical ability to be successful,” said Florian, “What differentiates the good from the great teams is your presentation skills.”

After two solid days of repeated practice and feedback, the students will show their polished skills 20 February, at the 2020 CFA Institute Research Challenge hosted by the University of Zurich. The winning team will represent Switzerland at the EMEA Regional finals in Jordan in early April 2020.

Participating universities:

University of Lugano

University of Fribourg

University of Lausanne

University of Zurich

University of Basel

Zurich University of Applied Sciences

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