Investment society brings finance students closer together

Sean Keister

The Institutional Investment Society is setting out to establish itself at Sacramento State as it sets out to boost recruitment.

Consisting primarily of finance majors, but open to all majors, the society has been active since 2007. The club almost ended last spring until senior business administration major John Hobbs was able to continue the group on campus.

Hobbs transferred to Sac State and joined the society last spring. Most of the society graduated at the end of the spring semester, but Hobbs was able to keep the club going by active recruiting last summer.

“I feel a resurgence,” Hobbs said. “It feels great, now that more students are involved.

Hobbs said to be successful, finance students need to do more at Sac State than just go to their classes.

“You’re going to have to insert yourself,” Hobbs said. “Get involved on campus and become a leader.”

That was why Jonathon Hunt, a finance major senior with a concentration in real estate and vice president of marketing, joined the society. Growing up he always had an interest in business but did not decide on a concentration until last year.

“I had a brief lapse of trying to go into the real estate field, but I felt there weren’t a lot of job opportunities outside of Sacramento,” Hunt said. “I’ve had a finance concentration my past year and a half, and been pretty ‘Gung-ho’ about finance and pretty excited about it.”

This semester Hunt has been actively working to get the word back on campus about the society.

“We really don’t have a finance club on campus except for the FMA, which is the Financial Management Association, which is really not an active club on campus,” Hunt said. “I don’t even know if they hold meetings anymore this semester. It’s pretty dead. There is not a lot of leadership in that club, so this one provides a nice collaboration of finance students.”

Hunt said there is a core group of six officers who do most of the work, and come to all the meetings, along with a group of around 20 students combined.

“We actually don’t have a booth, but I think that’s something we’re definitely interested in doing,” Hunt said. “We want to boost our membership because we haven’t been huge on recruiting.”

Joel Ramirez, a junior business major with a concentration in finance and officer in the society, said he has a real competitive drive and looks forward to playing the market.

After a four-year stint in the Marine Corps following high school, Ramirez co-owned a dry cleaning business for four years before coming to Sac State in 2010.

“I felt like a rat in a cage,” Ramirez said. “So I sold my partnership and took about a year break before coming back to school here at Sac State.”

Ramirez said when he was a kid, he was always selling lemonade and Top Ramen for 25 cents in his neighborhood.

“I first started by taking it out of the pantry and my mom was like ‘Were is all this food going?’ So she made me start using my money to buy it,” Ramirez said. “It just grew from there.”

Hunt said in the Sacramento region, there is not much opportunity for finance students to work. This has prompted many graduates heading to larger cities like New York, San Francisco or Chicago.

“You have to move if you like this field and you want to get into making a lot of money,” Ramirez said. “Because, that’s our objective as finance majors, for the most part is to make money.”

Hunt said his favorite part of the society is the camaraderie between members and all he has learned from being a part of the organization.

“We all have tremendous drive, we really build off each other, so I would say that’s one of my favorite parts about it,” Hunt said. “I know 10 times as much about the finance industry than I would have known by not joining this club. It’s really been a great opportunity.”

This March, the Bloomberg test, a financial aptitude knowledge assessment hosted by the Bloomberg Institute will challenge Sac State’s business majors.

The exam is March 16 in Mendocino Hall, room 2007 in the computer lab. Open to all students, it is a three-hour, multiple-choice exam with no written answers.

The scores are put into a database where employers can choose the highest ranking students to hire for internships and full-time positions.

“The best part about the Bloomberg assessment test is that there is no hurt taking it,” Hunt said. “If you do well, you can get a full-time job after college.”

Leading up to college, both did what they could to make a buck.

Growing up, Hunt ran lemonade stands, mowed lawns and sold cherries grown from his neighbor’s orchard.

“I just remember selling my lunch out to all the kids at school,” Hunt said. “I always had a regular customer every day, a bag of chips for a dollar. It was a good deal at the time.”

Ramirez said even though the Top Ramen he sold was already cheap, he still had decent sales.

“The only reason you buy it from a kid is because you look at them and you know they’re hustling,” Ramirez said. “They are trying to make a little extra cash or whatever. I would take ice cubes (of Kool-Aid) and put sticks in it and sell those for like a nickel in the summer to other kids. It’s cheaper than the ice cream truck. Parts of those sales were for me to purchase trading cards. That’s where the big trading was for me.”

Ramirez said he’s always had the drive to work hard since he grew up with not much money.

“I was definitely born to work blue collar, but I learned there’s more money in white collar,” Ramirez said.

Sean Keister can be reached at [email protected].