The PRISM group is an organization unlike most at The University. The student-run investment group has three or four leaders each year and, together with any members who come to meetings, they decide how to distribute the $340,000 that makes up the portfolio. Anybody, no matter his or her major, is welcome to come to PRISM meetings, which makes it really unique. The level of experience also does not really matter. First-year students show up and know nothing about the club when they start, but by the end of the year most of these students will have pitched to sell or buy new stocks that appear more promising than the current ones. These two aspects make PRISM a great experience for both those who are new to the markets and those have become the veterans of the group.
Each year PRISM’s leaders graduate and a new group, chosen by the past leaders, step up and become the new heads. The leaders from this year, seniors Jake Kanavy, Tim Harding, Kevin Prendergast and Ted Foley, have also done more to improve the group. This year they consolidated the portfolio’s holdings before the start of the summer and then created a new position in the group. The sector head position was created to ease the burden of the leaders. Sector heads are each given certain industries in the market that they are in charge of. They then are supposed to keep tabs on all of the holdings that are in those sectors. The rest of the club chooses what sector they want to work in and then chooses a company that they are in charge of monitoring. They report to their sector head who then reports to the club leaders.
The old leaders have decided that they will pass the torch onto the new leaders this coming week. Juniors Jimmy Jencarelli, Rob Dibella and Alex Hoffman will take over for them next year. Each of these members has shown his or her devotion to the club and the business school in their time at The University. Jencarelli is the president of the ultimate Frisbee team, a member of the Business Leadership Honors Program, a member of the ODE economics honor society and a member of the Family Weekend Committee. Hoffman is a member of the OIM club and a staff writer for The Aquinas, and he worked for WUSR during his first two years at The University. Dibella is another member of Business Leadership and is the vice president of the Italian Society. All three have been members of PRISM for the last two years. Hoffman said in an email that PRISM prepares students for real industry careers.
“Nothing prepares you better for the finance world than making decisions with real money. I’ve learned so much from this club and hope I can help others learn as well,” Hoffman said.
Jencarelli said he hopes to “get more people than ever involved with PRISM and teach them not just about the stock market, but how to manage a portfolio that will beat the S&P 500.”
By doing so, he can ensure not only that the club will continue to grow, but also that he and the other leaders can teach these members some things that they would otherwise not be prepared for by the business school. Their hope is to get the portfolio to reach at least $375,000 and to beat the S&P 500 before they transfer their leadership to the next class.