Planting the SEED

Planting the SEED

Unique investing opportunities await Business students at Bishop’s

Bradley Toogood is well on his way to becoming a skilled investor, thanks to his experience in the SEED (Success through Education, Entrepreneurship and Dedication) course.

The SEED course gives business students like Bradley the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom. Fifteen years ago, Mr. David Williams gave more than $500,000 to the Williams School of Business so that students could gain a more comprehensive understanding of portfolio management, thus creating SEED.

A BBA student with a concentration in Finance and an Honours degree in Economics, Bradley is a portfolio manager in the course, managing an investment portfolio that includes approximately 30 companies.

Students can play different roles in the course, but their responsibilities are very similar to what they would find in an actual investment job.

“If I want to invest in a particular industry, I must first propose my idea to a strategist, who is also a student,” explains the Moncton, New Brunswick native. “But before I get the green light, the strategist will ask me to conduct research on that industry to determine which company I should invest in.” Bradley then writes a lengthy report that he presents to an external advisory board composed of expert portfolio managers.

“Some board members are Bishop’s alumni who are recognized experts in the finance industry across North America,” he says. “They ask very tough questions about our research and report.” As a result of the board’s acumen and the students’ hard work, the donor’s original investment has grown significantly since SEED’s inception.

And just like in the finance world, managing a portfolio is considerable work. “I write one to two reports per semester. In total it is 30 to 60 hours of work but since it’s a course I get credit for it.”

Though most other business schools in Canada offer this type of opportunity often at the Master’s degree level only, students at Bishop’s have better odds of getting into the course thanks to the small size of the student body.

As Bradley plans his future as a portfolio manager at an investment bank, he feels he couldn’t get a better experience than what SEED offers him. “It’s definitely one of the best courses we have in our program.”