You all have an accounting and auditing background. What made you decide to participate in this challenge?

Nous suivons effectivement un cursus tourné vers l’audit et la finance d’entreprise. Néanmoins, certains d’entre nous étaient déjà intéressés par la bourse avant le challenge. C’est la crise du COVID-19 et la chute des marchés qui nous ont incité à investir pour notre propre compte via des PEA. Certains membres ont quant à eux débuté leur aventure boursière grâce au challenge NextWise.

Your studies did not train you in the practice of financial markets. How did you organize yourself to overcome this handicap?

It's true that we don't have any courses dedicated to the financial markets per se, but we knew the basics thanks to the corporate finance courses. So we taught ourselves by following the markets on a daily basis, either through specialized websites, YouTube channels, or even by reading certain books. Our studies have been very useful when it comes to the fundamental analysis of the companies we invest in. We are indeed able to read a Universal Registration Document and analyze the main aggregates related to the financial health of the companies.

You have been regularly at the top of the general ranking. What do you think is the strength of your management?

Our main strength is the permanent questioning of our management strategy. At the very beginning of the challenge, we were very new and had almost 50% of our portfolio invested in ETFs. Our portfolio clearly lacked consistency and clarity. The constructive criticism of the jury members during the pitches helped us to refine our strategy, in parallel to a consistent collective work. We were thus able to build a coherent portfolio of which we are proud.

You are engaged in a demanding academic program. How do you organize yourselves to meet these two challenges at the same time?

This was the main difficulty we faced. It was not easy to combine individual work, group work, associative and sports commitments, and student jobs with the NextWise challenge. Our number and our collective work were a strength because when some members were unavailable, others took over. The key was to get involved in the challenge as early as possible in order to benefit from a long learning curve.
On the other hand, this challenge became part of our daily life and became a habit. Every opportunity was good to "discuss NextWise" whether it was during dedicated meetings, lunches at the CROUS, student parties or calls during the vacations.

What are the most exciting moments you have experienced? Your tops and flops ?

The most challenging moments were the pitch battles because they required a lot of preparation beforehand. It was a real challenge to make powerful presentations in less than five minutes. There were a lot of top performers. We are proud to have been the only club selected at each pitch battle, which proves our consistency throughout the challenge. We are also first in the general ranking since the beginning of the challenge which is a great satisfaction for all of us. This proves that it is quite possible to create an effective stock market strategy by putting the necessary efforts.
Apart from the "medals", our greatest pride is to have shared unforgettable moments together and with other students and finance professionals. The cocktail parties were a source of very enriching discussions and this is what we will remember above all. On the other hand, our flops were almost anecdotal. One example is the presentation of the ERAMET stock during a pitch when it was at the heart of several governance scandals, which rightly did not please the jury.

What is your first assessment of this experience?

The NextWise challenge was very much appreciated by each of the club members. It allowed us to strengthen our friendships but also to learn a lot about exciting topics such as the economy and the stock market. We really liked the fact that we were able to meet and discuss with professionals during the pitches and cocktails, which allowed us to learn and enrich our networks. In our opinion, this is a much more effective form of learning than theoretical courses.
In conclusion, we are delighted to have taken part in this challenge and recommend it to any student wishing to live an exceptional human experience in connection with the scholarship.