At the Darden School of Business, $10 million of the school’s endowment is not managed by investment firms, faculty or administrators. It is managed by MBA students. Similarly, students at the McIntire School of Commerce are managing more than $670,000 and generating earnings for the school. It’s all part of a successful effort to give students real-world experiences beyond classroom learning.
Darden students join the club and begin evaluating stocks during their first year. Through a competitive application process, 24 students are selected to enroll in Evans’ second-year Darden Capital Management course, where they are evaluated for their investing performance. Twice a year, the group presents their investments to Darden’s Board of Trustees who, Evans said, “grill the students” about investment decisions.
“It is a real honor to be able to manage such a significant amount of money on behalf of Darden and to have the confidence of the faculty and the Board of Trustees,” said Claire Lewis, the club’s chief investment officer.
Seeing Darden Capital Management on a student’s résumé tells employers that this student has made decisions with real money.
Undergraduate students in the McIntire School of Commerce enjoy similarly realistic experiences through the student-run McIntire Investment Institute. Students manage a portfolio valued at approximately $670,000, grown from a $100,000 endowment established in 1994 by John Griffin, president of Blue Ridge Capital and a member of UVA’s Board of Visitors. As with Darden Capital Management, McIntire students research and execute all investments, with faculty in an advisory capacity.
Since its inception, the institute has donated $150,000 back to the school and pledged another $100,000 donation during the last academic year. The money has been used for new technology, building renovations and other improvements.
“The portfolio doesn’t sleep while you are away for holiday break,” Evans said. “The stocks are still going up and down and it is still your responsibility.”