They've Got G.A.M.E.

Students organize a large investment conference at Quinnipiac.
They've Got G.A.M.E.

At Quinnipiac University’s G.A.M.E. Forum, students from a variety of colleges and universities have the chance to speak with Tom Keene (right), editor-at-large at Bloomberg News.

 

AT MANY BUSINESS schools, students have a chance to attend conferences where they mingle with industry professionals and gain insights into best practices in the fields they might like to enter. But there’s something different about the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum hosted by Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Connecticut: It’s almost wholly run by students.

The three-day event is held annually in New York City and features leaders from the investment and financial services industries. In spring 2019, about 1,600 students, faculty, and professionals participated in the ninth G.A.M.E. conference. The students, who came from 154 schools in 50 countries, had a chance to hear 148 professionals who served as speakers, panelists, and presenters. And 40 student volunteers made the whole thing happen.

“The G.A.M.E. Forum provides an excellent opportunity for business and finance students from around the world to come together near Wall Street and gain insight from top industry professionals,” says Osman Kilic, professor, chair of finance, and managing director of the forum. “G.A.M.E. also provides excellent opportunities for students to network and explore the career opportunities that await them when they graduate.”

Participants spend a year planning each G.A.M.E. conference. As faculty director, Kilic consults with industry professionals to choose the speakers and work with the chair of the Student Oversight Committee to build the team of volunteers. But many other tasks fall to students, who are assigned to committees that handle seven key functions:

Student outreach gets in touch with business club leaders at other schools to tell them about the G.A.M.E. conference and encourage their students to attend.

Registration creates and distributes the conference packets, which include the event’s program, and issues name badges and credentials.

Logistics sets up conference rooms, works with exhibitors, and places directional signs at the hotel.

VIP relations attends to speakers’ needs, maintains the keynote ready room, and makes sure sessions run smoothly.

Breakout kicks into gear on the second and third day of the conference, when students leave the main auditorium and reconvene in small intensive sessions. At any one time, there can be as many as a dozen concurrent sessions.

Competition manages the judged portfolio submissions, which are recognized at the Networking and Awards Ceremony on the second day of the event.

Public relations runs the conference’s extensive social media presence and student-to-student marketing work.

Students are assigned to committees based on their preferences and expertise. Within the committees, jobs are awarded via a merit system—the more committed students prove to be, the more assignments they get. Sought-after tasks, such as hosting the ready room and introducing high-profile keynote speakers, go to students who have been volunteering for several years.

While students work hard to make G.A.M.E. succeed, they also enjoy many benefits. First, they get real-world logistical experience running a large event, which helps them develop team leadership and project management skills. They get a chance to talk with industry leaders one-on-one before events and engage them in the Q&A sessions held after each panel, and they are exposed to critical thinking from top members of the financial community. Finally, student volunteers are able to use G.A.M.E. as a résumé builder, because involvement in the conference demonstrates initiative, commitment, and persistence.

Faculty who accompany the students to New York for the conference also come away with insights into the latest on-the-ground thinking in the financial community, and they incorporate these insights into their teaching.

Organizers once worried that students might skip the conference to enjoy some of New York City’s tempting distractions, but say it never happens. Students remain committed to putting on a high-quality event—and preparing themselves for careers in business.

The 10th G.A.M.E. Forum at Quinnipiac will be held March 26–28, 2020. Learn more.

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