Personal Development for University Students: The Launch of InVhestia Financial Modelling Competition 2020

‘Education is key to personal development and the future of societies. It unlocks opportunities and narrows inequalities. It is the bedrock of informed, tolerant societies, and a primary driver of sustainable development. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest education disruption ever. We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people.’ These are the words of Antonio Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations at the launch of the policy brief: Education During Covid-19 and Beyond.

InVhestia has run an inter-university competition over the last 4 years. The initiative was launched when we realized financial modelling is not a widely practiced discipline and that revealed a skills gap in recent graduates entering the workforce. Over the years we have trained students in in various Nairobi based universities with top students getting internships and working on projects for institutions such as Open Oil, and getting internships at institutions like KPMG, InVhestia, HEVA Fund and Horizons Africa.

Last year, the FAST Standard Organization and F1F9 sponsored the competition which saw us reach more students than previous years. One of those students is Valentine Wahome, a 4th year student at the University of Nairobi. Valentine sat in for the training session carried out by a former winner of the competition. “This was the first competition I’ve ever participated in. I learnt about the training session from a student leader. What stood out to me in the session was how easy and efficient working in Excel seemed. Our school curriculum teaches us to use notebooks and a calculator. I had a hard time understanding macros but I submitted my model. I did not think I stood a chance but figured I should give it a shot nonetheless,” he says. Valentine ranked as top 10 in the competition and secured an internship opportunity. “Through this experience, I’ve learnt that financial modelling does not only mean good Microsoft Excel skills but rather understanding the assignment at hand and what the business or investor wants to accomplish.” He sat his FAST Level 1 Certificate Test and passed.

We are launching our 5th Edition of the competition, but this will be one like none other before it. Given the prevailing circumstances, we cannot go to the universities. However, we are going to leverage our digital learning platform to give the students access to top notch financial modelling content . “This year we are opening the competition up to students across the continent which is the positive outcome of going strictly online. We will give them free access to our courses and conduct webinars that they can access at their convenience. We are also looking for partners who will allow us to reduce the barriers as far as internet access and by increasing internship opportunities for the finalists. We believe this is the best time to invest in the personal development of the youth and build the next generation,” said Stephen Gugu, Principal at InVhestia.

We are pleased to be partnering with the FAST Standard Organization for another year and look forward to impacting even more students.  We agree with Mr. Guterres that education is the key to the future of society.

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