Student clubs

University of Oregon CCFSA Profile – Nishan Senthirajah

Originally from Tualatin, Oregon, Nishan Senthirajah is a junior majoring in finance with a minor in economics at the University of Oregon. He is in the Honors Business program and is also the consumer goods sector leader analyst for the University of Oregon’s Investment Group (UOIG). He was the president of the Financial Management Association (FMA) this past year and will be interning as an investment KeyBanc Capital Market analyst this summer. Here is what he has to say about his experiences in the Lundquist College of Business thus far:

Can you tell me a little bit more about UO’s Investment Group? (UOIG)
NS: I’m a senior analyst within the University of Oregon’s Investment Group, which is a student-led organization within the Lundquist College of Business that actively manages more than one million dollars in endowment funds. It’s comprised of student analysts as well as six students on the management team. Essentially, our job is to put together an equity research report every term on a stock that we believe would be a good investment. So, we generate investment models and do a lot of research to determine how the stock is valued. After the report, you do a presentation to the entire group with about a 45-minute Q&A session. It’s an intense atmosphere. This is my second year in the group so I have one more year after this. It’s been an excellent experience for me thus far. It gives students an opportunity to expand their learning in an environment that they wouldn’t find in the classroom, which is why it’s such a reputable group within the Lundquist College. We try to keep our strong name as we continue in our operations. You also meet a lot of people and a lot of great friends that are invested in the same things and have the same interests as you. People who actually care about the things you’re working on as much as you do. That’s been one of the best parts.

What was your role within the Financial Management Association (FMA) and how is it different than UOIG?
NS: I was the past president at the FMA, which was started two years ago. We’re a chapter of a larger national organization, similar to a lot of other clubs you find in the business school. It’s designed for the broader range of students. The FMA is a much broader-based finance group that covers topics ranging from corporate to investment banking to private equity. The goal for FMA is to provide students with a learning environment to get exposed to different areas of finance in order to determine if it’s something they’re interested in, and if so, what area and how can we help students get there. We do this by going on site visits locally and within the Pacific Northwest. We bring in different speakers from all different backgrounds to come and share their career paths, what they do with their job, skill sets in their current positions, and ways to navigate yourself into that position. It’s been a pretty decent success; it grows every year. Unlike UOIG, the application process isn’t as intense and selective.

What does the future hold in store for you?
NS: This coming summer I’ll be working as an investment KeyBanc Capital Market analyst. My goal is to work there for a couple years because it will provide excellent exposure as far as potential career opportunities going forward. Whether I want to move into private equity or take the industry route, I’m hoping to gain the necessary skill sets and experience while working with investment banking. It’s a work-hard atmosphere, so when you make a lot of great connections you gain extremely valuable experience. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do – whether I want to stay in investment banking or private equity, or maybe a corporate finance field, but that’s what I’m looking at right now. Ideally, I would like to find myself working on the financial managerial division of a professional sports team or basketball team. After getting my experience in the financial executive department, the decisions I make post-grad will be either going back and getting my MBA or continuing within the field. Within UOIG you see a lot of people doing a couple years of investment banking but then they usually take a lot of different paths.

How do you like to spend your free time?
NS: I’m a basketball fanatic. I’m super into analyzing and catching as many games as I can, especially right now with all the games that are going on. I also play basketball and soccer. I love to travel when I get the chance to. I was able to do a lot of traveling growing up while visiting my parents’ family, so seeing as many places as possible has always been a huge interest of mine. I love Indian cuisine and I like playing blackjack too.

What are some tips you have for other finance students?
NS: Don’t use the mouse when you’re using Microsoft Office; always use the keyboard. I would also say networking is critical within the industry because it’s so concentrated. Because we’re from the west coast, making relationships and being able to network is critical for landing the ideal internship or post-grad job. I would say take advantage of the opportunities that are offered at UO outside of the classroom because not many other schools have them, and that’s what’s going to separate you when you’re going up against your peers or students from other schools. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it when it’s all said and done.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

AKPsi's Centennial Weekend

Alpha Kappa Psi Celebrates 100 Years

The Kappa Chapter at the University of Oregon celebrated a historic milestone on May 3, 2015. The tenth chapter of the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi was established a century ago on May 3, 1915, and has excelled at the University of Oregon for 100 consecutive years. Only three chapters have achieved this milestone, an honor that even the founding chapter couldn’t achieve.

The Kappa chapter hosted a three-day event which brought together 145 alumni and members to celebrate brotherhood, support the fraternity endowment fund, and reminisce about the Oregon Duck college experience. The leaders of the centennial committee were former chapter president Samantha Twardoch, Collin Samples, and Justin McCormick. They enlisted 19 project heads to host the weekend activities. Notable events included a welcome barbecue, tours of local businesses, and a catered dinner at the Downtown Athletic Club.

The decorated Kappa Alumni spanned from recent graduates of 2014 to honored graduates of 1967 (’68).  At the formal dinner, Dan Stubblefield, the fraternity chairman of the board said “The Kappa Chapter set the bar high and hosted a well-executed event that others should strive for.” Among other membership awards, Chuck Kalnbach was recognized for 11 years of service as the chapter’s faculty advisor.

The weekend-long event concluded at Autzen Stadium with a breakfast social and the closing of the time capsule, where members and alumni were encouraged to share their favorite AKPsi memory.

About the Fraternity:
The Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi prides itself in its ability to connect students, both personally and professionally. The 80-member chapter boasts a diverse membership grounded in the principles of brotherhood, leadership, and education. The culture produces lifelong friendships, provides endless opportunities, and supports a multitude of endeavors that the members take on.

The 2014-2015 academic year boasted diverse attractions for the fraternity:

  • Portland site tours (Nike and Wieden+Kennedy)
  • San Francisco site tours (Google, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Seattle site tours (Boeing, Costco, Nordstrom)
  • Principled Business Leadership Institute and Case Competition, Reno, NV

– Collin Samples ’15 and Samantha Twardoch ’15

About Collin Samples:
Collin Samples is graduating magna cum laude this spring with a B.S. in business administration. As a transfer student from Arizona State University, he rushed AKPsi in Fall ’12 and became heavily involved in chapter outreach by developing a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Valley. During senior year, he helped plan the Centennial Celebration and won a case competition at AKPsi’s Principled Business Leadership Institute conference in Reno, Nevada. Outside the business school, he was a junior golf coach and studied abroad in Vienna, Austria.

Samples is passionate about traveling, exploring, and solving problems. He strives to leave the world better than he found it. Although his next steps are unclear, he is optimistic about the adventure ahead.

About Samantha Twardoch:
Samantha Twardoch graduated this winter with a B.S. in accounting cum laude with departmental honors. She rushed AKPsi fall term of her sophomore year and was elected the following term to the executive board as the VP of finance. She served as president for her senior year, helping to plan the centennial celebration, coordinating weekly meetings, and winning a case competition atAKPsi’s Principled Business Leadership Institute in Reno, Nevada. Aside from AKPsi, Samantha was a member of the Business Honors Program, studied abroad in Copenhagen, and worked on campus as an accounting tutor, Lunquist College Duck Guide, and as a fitness attendant at the Student Recreation Center.

This summer Samantha is headed to Seattle to intern in KPMG’s audit practice and will pursue a master’s degree in accounting at the University of Washington this fall, earning her enough credits to test for the CPA exams. She hopes to one day work abroad and eventually work in the nonprofit sector.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

UOIG Members Attend University Private Equity Summit

In January, members of the Lundquist College’s University of Oregon Investment Group (UOIG) had the opportunity to attend the University Private Equity Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read an account by UOIG member Nicholas Deale ’16.

We arrived at our hotel early Thursday morning and by mid-afternoon the University Private equity Summit conference was in full swing. With a stunning view of Salt Lake City and the Wasatch mountain range in the background, we settled in for the first of many panel discussions. The first panel consisted of four successful venture capitalists operating locally in Salt Lake City. They shared their experiences with us and gave us valuable insight on where they see venture capital investing going in the future.

After a quick break, we got a chance to see firsthand an abbreviated version of what it’s like for venture capitalists to look for potential deals. We served as the audience for a flurry of fast-paced pitches from healthcare IT startups all vying for $10,000 in funding. We heard from many fascinating entrepreneurs and got a chance to see what the panel of venture capitalist judges really focused on when deciding who would be the winner.

After a leisurely dinner, we heard a speech by Catterton Partners founder Scott Dahnke, who spoke to us about his incredibly diverse career and how he ultimately ended up starting his own private equity firm. Throughout the speech, he taught us not only about his journey and his business, but also about the importance of having passion for your work and not being afraid to fail.

Friday was filled with four more panels on a variety of different topics. We learned more about private equity as well as about how wearable technologies are poised to burst onto the scene. We also learned about impact investing and heard from a panel of entrepreneurs. The conference closed with a keynote address featuring Matthew Prince, founder of CloudFlare, who shared the story of his company and emphasized the importance of surrounding yourself with the right types of people and not being afraid to take risks.

The night closed with an after-party in downtown Salt Lake City. In the morning some of us were up early for a full day of skiing at Park City Resort while other students headed off to the Sundance Film Festival.

We are very thankful to the University Venture Fund for helping to make this experience possible. We all learned a ton about private equity, venture capital, and entrepreneurship, while having a blast in a great city.

—Nicholas Deale ’16

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

An Enlightening Experience

See your music come alive—this is the promise that new Eugene company Light Dance makes to its customers. Light Dance is an unassuming box that allows people to plug in a couple of light sources, their music, and then watch in amazement as their living room turns into a professionally lit dance floor where lights pulse beautifully to both the bass and treble of their own music. Though the product has just been posted to the popular crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.com, this business has been years in the making.

The idea began over four years ago when founder Dylan Garrett developed a device that allowed light to pulse to music for a party he had for a few friends back in high school. Needless to say, the party ended up being a big success and everyone asked Dylan where they could buy one of the devices for themselves. Dylan ended up going to USC to pursue what he needed to know in order to take this device to market.

Light Dance

Light Dance is a simple device that brings music to life

After graduating Dylan returned to Eugene with the drive to make this product happen. His dad Paul got on board with the idea and the two used their network to get experienced electrical engineer Craig Godwin as their chief technical officer. In February 2014 the team was invited into the UO Entrepreneurship Club, where they shared the struggles they had experienced and insights that they had gained as a founding team. Right off the bat, the product was a huge hit with students as people requested songs to be played and seen with the lights. Over the next several months, Light Dance made several more trips into the club as they further developed the product and their venture. The club became a space for the entrepreneurs to get market validation, to answer important questions about their business model, and to recruit students to join their growing team. The team of Eugene locals became a favorite visitor for club members and always had a packed room.

One bachelor’s degree and tons of elbow grease later, the product that was made from a few parts in the garage is now getting ready for its first production run through Kickstarter.com. Just days away from launching on the platform, Craig, Dylan, and Paul brought their product back to the club with a mission of informing students on how to run a successful campaign. The three talked about everything from designing a webpage that will last far longer than a Kickstarter campaign to the choice of hiring a professional PR representative for the duration of the campaign and deciding what their funding goal should be.

Being able to witness the journey that this company has made from just a loose idea to a fully functional device with a strong team behind it has been extremely educational and fun for our students. Going forward I think that there are great things to see from Light Dance, besides just cool light shows.

Happy Halloween

There’s no limit to the fun you can have

 

Written by Jordan Johnson

Senior at the UO, majoring in business administration, minoring in art. Current President of the UO Entrepreneurship Club.

Community Service with the Warsaw Sports Business Club

Warsaw Sports Business Club members took part in two excellent community service opportunities early this winter. These events provided great ways for members to help give back to the community.

The first event was called “Next Gear: Ride Club.” Jesse Schwarz, the club’s vice-president of events and community involvement,  worked with a small team of club members to coordinate the inaugural event of a series that will continue for approximately three months. The Ride Club is designed for the homeless youth of Eugene. Each Friday, Warsaw club members visit the Hosea Youth Services Center and go for bike rides with whoever is interested in participating. The event kicked off January 31 and we had five members from Hosea along with ten members from Warsaw on the first bike ride, which was about five miles.

The purpose of this weekly ride is to help people from Hosea advance to the next gear in their lives. By forming relationships with them we can help them achieve their goals. With only a little less than two weeks to plan this event, everyone showed their passion and commitment and came together as a team to make it a successful first day.

Since this is a bicycle event and we were not sure how many people from Hosea had their own bikes, we asked for help from local bike shops in Eugene. Simply Cycle and Blue Heron Bicycles together loaned the ride club four bikes for the duration of three months. These two bike shops, along with a few other businesses, donated prizes in which people from Hosea can win depending on how many bike rides they go on with us. We are very appreciative that local businesses in Eugene want to be a part of young people’s “next gear” in their lives and our event would not be as successful without their help.

I am glad that I am part of such an influential event and am able to be a helping hand to homeless young people in the Eugene community. I have gotten to know these people from Hosea by conversing with them and discovered that we share some similar goals. You can learn more about Hosea by visiting their website: http://www.hoseayouth.org/.

Club members gave back to the community at another event during the same weekend by volunteering at the Food for Lane County Garden. Not only were members able to showcase their incredible gardening skills, but we also honored David Stern’s retirement from position as the former commissioner of the National Basketball Association. Members helped out from 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM and afterwards got the chance to try some of the amazing food grown in the garden.

I didn’t really know what to expect before arriving at the garden. I showed up wearing Toms shoes and a blouse, and once I saw people pushing wheelbarrows, shoveling, picking weeds, and wearing rubber boots, I was quickly directed to the “shoe-changing station.” With a quick change of attire, I was all ready to partake in the activities.

This was a great way for members to appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into growing nutritious food as well as to help people in our community. Food for Lane County Garden is a nonprofit food bank and is committed to eliminating hunger by helping create more access to food. They accept donations and also grow food in their own garden. They serve a diverse population of people living on limited incomes including families with children, seniors, and single adults. They are a successful organization that grows around 67,000 pounds of food each year. More information can be found here: http://www.foodforlanecounty.org/

It was a beautiful day to help out at the garden center while meeting members of the community and students from the Warsaw Center. Happy retirement, Commissioner Stern!

The reputation of the Warsaw Center and its members is built on passion, integrity, and leadership and we will take any opportunity to demonstrate these values by assisting our community.

Thanks for all of your hard work Warsaw members, Go Ducks!

Brandilyn Beutler ’15
Warsaw Sports Business Club Member

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

Portland Site Visits: CPUsage and Salt & Straw

On a chilly Saturday in early February, fifteen undergraduate members of the University of Oregon Entrepreneurship Club took a trip up to Portland and had the opportunity to interact on-site with two very different entrepreneurs: Jeff Martins of CPUsage and Kim Malek of Salt & Straw.

Martins, the co-founder and CEO of CPUsage, a company that sets up infrastructure for businesses to do high-performance cloud computing, welcomed the club to the downtown office on Davis and Third. Students learned how he had begun just at Startup weekends with a completely different idea and—through a process of pivots, collaboration, and angel investments—now operates with four employees and works with Amazon on their cloud services.

Members of the club asked questions about everything from the benefits of operating as a tech company in Portland rather than Silicon Valley to making the transition of working as an employee for a multi-billion dollar company to starting from scratch and building a business. Martins stressed the high-risk/high-reward aspect of entrepreneurship and told the group that, even though it’s not easy, he’s “never going to work for someone else again in my life.”

At Salt & Straw in northwest Portland, members got to meet the owner and co-founder, Kim Malek. The artisanal ice cream parlor opened two-and-a-half years ago in a pushcart and is now boasting three brick-and-mortar locations in Portland and is fast expanding both locally and down the coast to Los Angeles. Malek shared her goals of creating a community-based product and described the way every aspect of her business—from the ingredients used to the training employees undergo before even scooping one cone of ice cream—is all about facilitating a local connection with and between her customers.

After the discussion, club members wrapped up the day with free scoops of Grandma Malek’s Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache ice cream.

Despite their very different products and the different industries that these two entrepreneurs operate in, they both had pretty similar advice. Success is not done on your own. It is about the relationships you build with those in the industry, the community, and your customer. Focus and flexibility are key in creating a product that consumers want. Because growth will not happen on its own, entrepreneurship is all about motivation and finding new opportunities.

Jordan Johnson ’15
Public Relations Officer
University of Oregon Entrepreneurship Club

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.