Stock investing, real-world podcast production yield big successes
As the world embraces innovation and new technology, Indiana University Northwest students are eager — and prepared — to enter a globally competitive workforce. In fact, some are so eager, they have begun preparing for that landscape by entering national and international competitions against their peers at other colleges and universities, many of which ask them to tackle real-world problems and circumstances.
Senior Jason Licht, an accounting major, recently participated in an investing competition during the Fall 2022 semester. The result? He won the most profitable trade among 1,050 participants from 45 universities and 47 countries.
Licht based his investment decisions for the competition on course material he learned at IU Northwest the prior semester (Spring 2022) and in his fall class with Matt Lutey, assistant professor of finance.
Using skills he learned in two of Dr. Lutey’s classes “gave me some new experience in the stock market,” Licht said. “Professor Lutey demystified the stock market and really helped me wrap my head around it.”
The competition was challenging, said Licht, because “At the time, the stock market was in a downward trend. It wasn’t a great time in the market to look for short-term trends.”
But Licht said that by using the skills he had learned in his course, he was able to identify trends and technical indicators to choose a company that he felt would have good returns.
As it turned out, Licht said, the returns were even better than anyone could have imagined, sending the stock price soaring.
Passions + extracurriculars = home run
It was through an IU Northwest club — RedHawk Media — that John Mastej learned about the Broadcast Educators Association’s Student Festival of Media Arts.
Mastej, a communication student, placed second in the Audio: Specialty Program category with his podcast "The Tragedy of the Windy City Assassin." The podcast is centered on the story of Derrick Rose, a famous professional basketball player, who played for the Chicago Bulls.
The Festival of Media Arts received more than 1,650 entries in all categories.Winners in the broadcasting competition were from colleges and universities around the world.
Mastej is passionate about sports as well as audio and video communications, which made his award-winning podcast even more relevant.
“Audio journalism has always fascinated me,” Mastej said. And he’s no stranger to it, as he’s had an active role in a podcast featured on WIUN-AM, the student-run production radio channel.
“I serve as the producer and host of ‘No Game Scheduled,’ a podcast where I, alongside two of my friends, talk about every sport that is sport, even if there is…no game scheduled,” Mastej said.
This summer, he’ll keep his game plan moving forward as he plans to work in sports production (audio and visual) before graduating in the fall.
Patrick Johnson, assistant title and program coordinator for the department of communication, wasn’t surprised by Mastej’s top rank, as he has worked closely with him over the years through RedHawk Media.
“It really shows in the research John did and the quality of production,” Johnson said.
Future competitions for future students
Both professors — Lutey and Johnson — said they were very happy with the results of their students in the national and international competitions and will encourage future students to enter.
“National and international competitions allow our students to apply what they learn in the classroom,” Lutey said. “When a student participates, it can be an unconventional but effective way of securing internships, scholarships, jobs and exposure to real-world issues. In other words, it's a way to connect with top employers.”
Johnson couldn’t agree more. “It gives the students things to talk about with future employers,” he said. “And employers see it as what they would want in a future employee.”
Even though Licht gained a new understanding of and appreciation for the stock market, he says he will stick with accounting for his future career goals. However, he says, now that he has done a stock market competition, “it's made me more open to the finance side of business.”
And as for Mastej, his future goals include exactly what he is doing on the IU Northwest campus — combining podcasting and video production with sports. And he feels like the experience he’s had with his on-campus activities will lead him to just the type of career that he is passionately interested in.
Whatever direction Licht and Mastej head, their experience, self-motivation and competitive spirit will most definitely lead them to their next great adventure.