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Isabel Fernandes ’21, M’22, was selected to address the Class of 2022 at the Graduate Commencement ceremony on May 20.
The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is an introductory exam for prospective securities professionals authorized by FINRA. By receiving the SIE certification, students have a head start in professional development and future licensing when hired by a firm in the industry.
Professor Mary Papazian introduced SIE to her students in two of her fall 2020 courses, Student Managed Fund and Financial Markets and Institutions. Student Managed Fund also gave students the opportunity to join the Merrimack Investment Fund or the Fixed Income Fund. Members of these student-led finance groups work on campus in the Mucci Capital Markets Lab to manage real-world funds and grow a portfolio of investments.
Both the Merrimack Investment Fund and the new Fixed Income Fund group, which recently took home a second-place win at the global finance competition GAME Forum, manage over $300,000 of real money from donors and friends of the College. Taking the SIE and preparing for the exam, Papazian said, gave these students an overall regulatory framework to better understand financial instruments and the markets.
“As a past investment advisor, I know the significance of having this credential on your resume,” Papazian said. “The SIE is a way for students to sponsor themselves and prepare to join a firm, take the Series 6 or 7 and really hit the ground running. The exam shows that one has the discipline and dedication to study and prepare for these types of exams.”
The Series 6 and Series 7 exams are also important qualifiers for those looking to enter the finance industry. Those who pass Series 6, the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Qualification Examination, can solicit, purchase and sell certain security products. Popular among financial advisors, Series 7, the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination, grants the license to buy and sell virtually all securities-related investment products.
“The opportunity to take the SIE while enrolled in college increases my knowledge of the securities industry,” said Merrimack Senior Jared Carvalho. “It shows that I am able to teach myself and show initiative while outside of the classroom.”
Carvalho passed the SIE this spring and is now studying for the Series 7. He is also a senior analyst in the Merrimack Investment Fund.
Papazian’s goal is to have all members of the Student Managed Fund course pass the exam to increase their overall financial and market knowledge. The exam has proven to be a fruitful tool in the classroom and the exam’s distinction to future employers gives current students an advantage in looking for full-time jobs or paid internships.