InVhestia’s 3rd Annual Inter-University Competition

The 3rd InVhestia inter-university financial modelling competition launched in August with campus tours running throughout the month of September. In our consulting experience, we found that financial modelling is a critical skill for any graduate pursuing finance and finance related courses. Over the last three years, we have trained over 800 students face to face as well as many more through our online platform.


This year we partnered with Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs ANDE. ANDE is a global membership of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The East Africa Chapter brings together ANDE members who support small and growing businesses (SGBs) in East Africa by creating connections and opportunities to grow environments in which SGB entrepreneurs can thrive. In line with this, ANDE carried out career information sessions alongside our training at the various campuses. Some of their members such as Growth Africa and Youth For Technology also came to give information to the students pertaining to what they can look forward to when they start their careers. ANDE will be offering the some of the top students internship opportunities. The competition was also sponsored by Consonance Investment Managers who are excited to partner with us on building the talent pool of financial modellers coming out of universities.

Last year’s top student secured an internship with Open Oil. Bob was a final year student pursuing a Bachelors of Business Science in Finance at Strathmore when he took part in the competition. This is what he had to say about his experience:

“Building financial models using the FAST standard was a key learning point as I got to apply it in real life situations through the Public Policy and Due Diligence assignments I worked on during my internship. Being granted access to the Corporate Finance Online course from the first week of joining the firm was particularly helpful towards the theoretical learning. I also got to see the value of positive criticism as I got a lot of constructive feedback from the team on the various models I built which helped me further enhance my understanding of the FAST standard.”

We are pleased with the impact that this outreach is having on the students. We have prepared the profiles of the top 10 students of this year. Kindly email if you have opportunities available for them at your organization or would be interested in participating in the 2019 Edition of InVhestia’s Financial  Modelling Competition.

Life In The FAST Lane: Financial Modelling Competition Winners

James Wambua a 4th year Business and Finance student at University of Nairobi was walking on campus grounds heading to his dorms when a friend asked to borrow his laptop and for help carrying speakers. He helped carry the sound equipment to the meeting room, set up and then decided to sit in and find out what the session was all about. It turned out to be a financial modelling training session that changed his life.

James Wambua

“The trainer gave us a case to model and all of us tried to solve it using various methods. At the end of it, he introduced a variable which threw a spanner in the works. Suddenly, everyone was struggling with adjusting the outcome. And then he introduced the FAST Standard, and we were amazed that it did away with the margin of error” James recalled.

Kevin Mbugua fondly remembers the session that he terms as “the most productive training session he attended in his 4 years as a student at Nairobi University campus.” Kevin, a Finance and Accounting student, had received a Whatsapp message inviting him for the training. InVhestia had put out a call for students from various university campuses to participate in a financial modelling competition. The top prize was an internship as well as sponsorship for the FAST Certification exam. “The prize was a motivator but I was more interested in learning. I was looking for a challenge, to see what other opportunities there were outside of Accounting based on my area of study. I figured this would be an avenue to explore what was out there,” Kevin says.

Kevin Mbugua

After the training session, the students then spent some time going through the InVhestia’s free online training material to prepare for the financial modelling competition and tried their best to come up with a solution to the case given to them. On submission, they both remember being unsure about their results. However, a few weeks later they came to an InVhestia cocktail with other students from Strathmore University, their only information, they were shortlisted as the top performers in the competition. It is then they learnt that they had come in first and second position. Kevin, who led the students at the top, was surprised and elated. His first call was to his mother who he says was over the moon.

Both Kevin and James joined the InVhestia team and have enjoyed learning more as regards the financial industry. They have both recently passed their FAST Certification examination and are better modellers for it. “I think every student should take hold of opportunities like these,” says James. Even though he stumbled into it, he’s glad he did.  James hopes to pursue a Masters in Strategic Management in the near future. Kevin’s advice to students is to look out for training opportunities that will give them more than a certificate of attendance. He has aspirations of being a business owner and believes all he has learnt only serves to make him more successful.

InVhestia will be running the 2nd edition of the FAST financial modelling inter-university competition in October 2017.

FAST Financial Modelling Competition: Why you should sign up

Job interviews can be stressful even for the seasoned professional who walks into an interview armed with a decorated portfolio and relevant years of experience. Now, picture yourself, a university graduate with little-to-no work experience, walking into a room and given the below spreadsheet and a case study.


The interviewer then says, ‘You have one and a half hours to get back to us’ and walks out of the room.

As they walk out, right hot on their heels is your dream of becoming an investment banker, financial analyst, financial consultant, portfolio manager or a practitioner in the private equity and venture capital industry, [insert fancy finance title here]…

Things they don’t tell you in uni

Your future employer may offer training but not on every aspect of the job because the assumption is that you went to university, right?

After the first round of interviews, which is mostly to measure you up against your resume and see if they like you enough, they may call you in for a second interview and hand you a financial model to not only make sense of, but make sure that the numbers balance.

But wait…

‘Each company has its own unique modelling template, so they should train me!’

Well, not for long. Company giants like F1F9, PwC, Finance Mechanics, InVhestia (that’s us by the way) and Grant Thornton now apply a standard way of modelling known as the FAST Standard.


The FAST Standard is an international recognized financial modelling methodology used by major firms worldwide such as those previously mentioned in their modelling assignments. You can read more about it by clicking here.

Bragging rights: InVhestia is the first and only firm in Africa to become an accredited provider of the FAST Standard. You can check out the other global signatories by clicking here.

FAST is an acronym that stands for:

Flexible – A flexible model meets its objectives and can be maintained, re-purposed and updated as needed.

Appropriate – A model with an appropriate degree of accuracy reflects key business decisions without unnecessary detail.

Structured – A structured model has been built consistently and ensures that form follows function.

Transparent – A transparent model is as simple as it can be and does not have unnecessary complexity to obfuscate its functionality, and can be used by anyone with some modelling experience, not just its creator.

Back to your job hunting

The surest way to ace that interview is to walk in armed with the FAST Standard Level 1 Certification as proof that you:

  • Understand the FAST standard and
  • Can apply the FAST Standard in any modelling exercise.

Given that FAST methodology is new in the African market, we have a free online course that you can sign up for.  You can do it 15 minutes a day for 10 days for you to have a fighting chance to land that job. But that is, of course, as long as no one with a FAST Standard Level 1 Certificate walks in…

The Inter university FAST Financial Modelling Competition

Having done the 2.5 hour course (this is not a requirement but we strongly advise that you have a crack at it), to test your level of skill levels, sign up for our week long online modelling competition!

‘Now what would I want to put in all that effort?’

  • First place: Internship at a top financial institution, the full online FAST Financial Modelling course license, and InVhestia merchandise.
  • Second Place: The full online FAST Financial Modelling course license, and InVhestia merchandise.
  • Third place: InVhestia merchandise.

All competing modellers will receive a certificate of participation.

Do we have your attention now?

The competition will run between the 15th and 19th August, 2016* from 10 am to 3 pm of the first and last day whereby the system will be closed to allow us to grade your models. To participate, register at for our introductory course. Under ‘Tell us why you are interested in InVhestia’ state that you are interested in the financial modelling competition. This last part is important as it’ll help us find you.

Winners will be announced two weeks after the competition.

For regular updates check out (and like) our page and don’t forget to download and share the flyer!


*Late October dates to be communicated.