We interviewed Jiawen Liu to find out what it was like to be part of the winning team that took home first prize at the CFA Research Challenge Spanish final in Madrid. Jiawen is from China and is currently enrolled in the International Master in Finance at EADA. In February, her team –together with a second EADA team– were selected to continue on to the CFA Research Challenge Spanish final. At the final, 7 teams competed against other top business schools and universities from around the world to take home the first prize.
What made you decide to join the EADA CFA team?
I considered it a valuable opportunity to practice a standard valuation process in real life. I was also excited about being part of a strong team and learning from my teammates.
What was the most challenging part of the final?
We sweated a bit during the Q&A session. The jury asked some very detailed questions that we had literally not considered before. Fortunately, we didn’t panic and were able to provide answers that demonstrated our understanding of the business. I think that the jury asking difficult questions are the good sign – it means that the jurors expect a high quality performance out of the team.
What do you think was the key to your team’s success?
Supporting each other. I was more nervous than I expected right before the competition, but my teammates encouraged me and helped me practice over and over. I learned a lot from my teammates both personally and professionally.
What was the biggest take-away from the CFA Research Challenge experience?
The importance of logic and facts. Each number and each sentence in the written report and presentation comes from solid logic and accurate facts. Based on this principle, we were able to deliver and defend our result on a highly professional level.
What advice would you give to future CFA teams?
Start early if the schedule allows. Make a plan to finish step-by-step. Our team suffered a lot from the time pressure.
Would you recommend participating in the CFA Research Challenge to future EADA students?
Of course! I don’t see it as extra work — the whole point of being here is to learn, and the Challenge is probably one of the finest “courses” you can take part in.