Real investments, real world experience

NDSU students interested in stock market trading, investment analysis and portfolio management can gain hands-on, real-world experience in the Bison Fund, a student organization that helps manage more than $2.7 million in university investments.

Open to all students, the Bison Fund allows participants to evaluate companies based on industry, sustainability, management and competition using Bloomberg computer terminals in the commodity trading room in Barry Hall. The room is supported by the endowment for the Center of Trading and Risk in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics and is used as collaboration for the Bison Fund. The terminals, used by business experts across the country, let students place trades while also monitoring and analyzing the financial market in real time.

Agribusiness and applied economics student Dylan Kallman said working with the Bison Fund has helped him learn in-depth modeling skills that will help him succeed in business after graduation. Interpersonal communication and critical thinking also are an important aspect of the organization, Kallman said.

“Working with the fund is a major differentiator for students passionate about pursing a job in the field of finance,” said Kallman, from Lino Lakes, Minnesota. “Many employers require a minimum amount of experience and the Bison Fund provides that in real time while students receive their degree. It also opens the door to a number of internships that will additionally help them stick out to employers.”

The Bison Fund, which works under the guidance of an NDSU advisor and a board of experienced industry professionals, has tripled in value during the past five years. NDSU students followed through on a commitment to growth by diligently monitoring holdings, updating each other on recent news, earnings and financial models, and making informed investment decisions.

Master of Accountancy student Abby Aberle said participation in the organization has increased each year and a variety of majors are represented, including marketing, accounting, management information systems, agricultural economics and computer science.

“NDSU has provided me with so many great experiences,” said Aberle, who is from Fargo. “I have grown academically and professionally through various classes and organizations and I’ve made lasting memories with friends and classmates that I will cherish for years.”

For a closer look at the Bison Fund, visit the official university YouTube channel.