Isenberg students brought UMass Amherst into the ranks of a select group of universities—including Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale—by creating a new chapter of a club called Smart Woman Securities (SWS) on campus. The organization’s national leadership officially recognized the UMass Amherst SWS chapter last spring, after founder Colleen Collins, now a senior finance major, led the group’s executive board (which also includes seniors Evelyn Yanyuk and Isabella Floramo and sophomore Abigail Varney) through an intensive and complicated qualification process.
“During the fall of 2018, I attended the SWS Executive Team National Conference at the NYU Stern School of Business and was able to meet all the other chapters,” Collins says. “At the same time, I began to construct our application and prospectus to apply for consideration for the soft launch process.”
In December of that year, the group received approval for the soft launch and began developing a curriculum, travel plans, and events for the spring 2019 semester. “We worked tirelessly throughout the semester to educate and empower our members through speaker sessions and company visits in Boston and New York, and to draft our 80-page prospectus to submit for approval for the final launch phase,” Collins says. Finance Professor Mila Getmansky Sherman served as faculty advisor for the organization.
Once the group officially received chapter status, it offered the SWS 10-week stock pitch seminar, starting in September, with the goal of teaching members about markets and helping them develop analytical and research skills and learn about the SWS investing principles. This semester, the group has been pairing members with mentors who are further along in their education, recently graduated, or working in the finance industry. In February, the group traveled to New York City to visit Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Cowen, Citi, and RBC.