Spartan Fund

SJSU Students Rock the Financial World

Spartan Fund

The Spartan Gold Team (courtesy of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business).

Facing tough competition, a four-student team from SJSU walked away with a first-place trophy at the CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge for the Northern California region.

They were up against teams from the Stanford MBA program, the Wharton executive MBA program, Santa Clara University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.

The win was a major accomplishment,” said Stoyu Ivanov, associate professor of accounting and finance, Nancie Fimbel Investment Fellow, and assistant director of the Center for Banking and Financial Services.

The teams

Two teams from SJSU took part in the competition March 5 in San Francisco’s financial district. Earning the top spot at the competition was the Spartan Gold Team made up of Joel Gonzales, ’15 Finance; Shayan Khales, ’15 Accounting; Valeriya Razdyakonova, ’18 Corporate Accounting and Finance; and Nirav Shah, ’15 MBA.

A second SJSU team, the Spartan Blue Team, consisted of Aaron Foster, Tarriq Hansrajh, Michael Farrell and Mark Smith, all finance majors.

The teams were required to research and analyze Gilead Sciences, a Bay Area biotech company. As part of their pitch, they wrote a paper, gave a presentation, and participated in a question-and-answer session.

We applied a lot from what we learned in the Spartan Fund and our finance classes,” Gonzales said.

Spartan Fund

The Financial Navigator Student Managed Investment Fund, also known as the Spartan Fund, was established with a $100,000 donation from Nancie Fimbel, and her husband C. Edward Van Deman, CEO of Financial Navigator.

Fimbel, who capped a 28-year career at SJSU by serving as acting MBA director and senior director of development for the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, wanted to give back to the university.

I’m very proud of having started this,” Fimbel said. “I had dreamed of this, and it’s really a kick to see the students pitch to each other.”

Students manage the $50,000 Spartan fund using 12 Bloomberg terminals in their classroom. They’ve raised the fund to $52,000 in just six months.

Next up for the Spartan Gold Team is the national competition on April 15 in Atlanta. A win there will send them to the Global Final, where they’ll face teams from the Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

Spartans@Work: At Ventana Medical Systems, “We Attack an Important Problem in the World”

Spartans at Work: At Ventana Medical Systems, “We Attack an Important Problem in the World”

Student standing in front of his company sign

Alex Kalogrides, '11 MBA, is an online community manager in in the Digital Pathology and Workflow Unit at Ventana Medical Systems (Christina Olivas photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hits the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the Class of 2011′s Alex Kalogrides.)

It’s only been eight months on the job for Alex Kalogrides, ’11 MBA, but he feels his work adds to the impact his company makes on Silicon Valley and beyond.

“We are a very innovative company; in the business unit where I work in, we develop new imaging and software solutions that are improving cancer diagnostics around the world,” Kalogrides said.

Kalogrides works at Ventana Medical Systems in the Digital Pathology and Workflow Unit, which develops instruments to turn glass pathology slides into digital images, software to manage these images, and algorithms to help analyze the images.

Ventana, a member of the Roche Group, focuses on accelerating the discovery and development of new cancer tests that allow pathologists to analyze patient biopsies at the molecular level to help determine the best course of therapy for each individual patient.

As an online community manager, Kalogrides works on web and mobile development and manages a forum-platform website. Kalogrides says his strategic thinking skills, class diversity and project management training from SJSU’s MBA One Program has prepared him for his job today.

“Being in a culturally diverse class setting was an important experience for me as I regularly collaborate with colleagues around the world in my job,” Kalorides said.

What does Kalogrides love the most about his job?

“The fact that everything is so new and talking to customers about new products,” he said.

He also loves that what he does attacks a real problem in the world.

“We are working toward making more accurate, more rapid diagnoses for cancer patients,” he explained. “That’s something you feel good about each day.”