Our Structure | Chapter Programs | National Programs
Each SWS chapter operates standard programming that includes a 10-week Seminar Series and an required accompanying Investment Project and Presentation, Research Teams, an Investment Board and an Investment Fund (at select chapters).
The three major tenets of the SWS model—educating, mentoring, and investing—are at the core of these programs that are executed at the chapter level and form the foundation of our organization. The following model is recommended to all chapters by the SWS Board of Directors, but programs may have slight variations depending on the chapter.
Investment education is the foundation of SWS, as the organization ultimately aims to provide students with the skills necessary to research companies and make investment decisions. The SWS education model is based on several tenets which combine to form a comprehensive and cumulative curriculum which we believe is helpful in giving students a basic framework in which to learn about investing. All our educational programs are supplemented by our mentoring initiatives, and aim to culminate in real-life investment experience for the students. This ultimate “learning-by-doing” model is what we emphasize to our members in SWS.
components of the SWS Education Program:
In the SWS education model, all participants must complete the following in order to become an SWS Associate. Following the formal Education Program in the fall semester, SWS Associates have the opportunity to join a Research Team as an Analyst, where they will work within an industry to conduct more research on particular companies.
The SWS model is predicated on more than just the academic experience of attending seminars and writing Investment Reports. Instead, we also aim to give women exposure to successful investors and mentors, as well as practical applied experience with managing a real investment portfolio.
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Members of SWS Research Teams study an industry more in-depth, ultimately recommending stocks which they believe will be good investments for SWS. Research Teams further allow students to conduct analysis, learn about companies, and become more comfortable in the investment realm. Professionals within each industriy serve as mentors and provide insight into the market; however, the ultimate investment thesis is made by students alone. Essentially, the Research Teams serve as the think tank for each chapter of SWS, ensuring that all investment recommendations come from careful and judicious research.
SWS Research Teams are comprised of Analysts chosen after completion of the Seminar Series and Investment Project. These students are placed into specific industries, and within each industry, students learn more about valuation techniques, conduct background research on the main companies, and further analyze the industry as a whole. Not only are students learning more on their own, they also have the opportunity to make real-life investment recommendations.
Senior Analysts: Lead team of SWS Analysts within one of the five specific industries that SWS currently covers. Senior Analysts are chosen based on their knowledge of the industry, leadership ability, and their performance as Analysts within the teams.
Analysts: Analysts work within a team (or teams) to cover an industry to research companies, write reports, and present the team's recommendations to the Investment Board.
Working in small research teams with the other women of SWS really makes a difference when first learning about investing. I ended up getting a lot of help, not just from the research team analyst but also from the experiences and work of my fellow associates.
I think the best thing about SWS is that it makes investing and other financial transactions seem manageable and gives you the confidence and the tools to take responsibility for your own financial future. After only a year with the group, I was inspired to start investing on my own; I don't think I could have done that without the resources, knowledge, and support I got from SWS.
- SWS Associate , Georgetown
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The ultimate goal of SWS is to educate women about investing and the financial markets. Thus, SWS encourages real-life investment experiences for students. In the SWS model, Research Teams led by students conduct research within various industries and make investment recommendations to a student-run Investment Board at each chapter. The Investment Board reviews all stock reports, discusses stock pitches, and ultimately makes a decision for the chapter's Investment Fund. The SWS “learning-by-doing” model serves to educate students about investing by giving them a hands-on opportunity to manage a portfolio.
To invest in the market, SWS chapters (if allowed by university regulations) receive donations from individuals and corporate partners who want to help women learn about investing and financial responsibility. Using this capital, students at each chapter conduct their own research, create reports, and ultimately make investment decisions.
SWS investment funds are independently overseen by student leaders at each chapter, who assume all responsibility for managing the fund.
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