Valuation professions from across the globe gathered late last month in Anaheim, California for the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) Joint 2018 Advanced Business Valuation and International Appraisers Conference.
As part of the conference, TTU's Business Valuation Club President, Alexander Gumm, and Vice President, Dillon Aston, made a presentation to the International Business Valuation Committee during a closed door session.
Gumm and Aston shared with the committee their experience in and importance of the Business Valuation Club at Texas Tech.
Typically discussed as part of corporate finance, business valuation is the process of determining the economic value of a business or company.
The Tech Business Valuation Club, which is housed in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, was established in 2014 after several students enrolled in a "Financial Statements Analysis" class recognized a need to increase their marketability after graduation. With the help of Dr. Mark Moore, an associate professor of practice in the finance department, they formed the Business Valuation Club. The group focuses on helping students prepare for and obtain professional certifications commonly found in the world of business valuation.
"The business valuation club is a one of a kind organization that has developed a relationship with the American Society of Appraisers over the years and allows us to learn the same material as professionals in the working world," said Gumm. "Dr. Moore has spent countless hours after classes and on the weekends preparing us through a series of classes to understand the material at a professional level."
While at the conference, the Red Raiders attended discussions involving financial modeling, specialty valuation situations, and networked with business valuation professionals from across the globe, including professionals from Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Gumm is a strong believer in the importance of the Business Valuation Club. Through the help of the club and his courses in the Rawls College of Business, Gumm is the first individual to pass all four parts for the ASA certification exam while still a student.
"The four examinations in the ASA are all professional level certification tests that challenge students on the market approach, income approach, and asset approaches to valuation as well as the final special topics exam," explained Gumm.
The Business Valuation Club provides study support, access to online materials, and instructors who can help explain the content often found on certification exams. The club also helps students secure discounted rates for professional certification exams, multiple networking events, industry trips, and access to a job bank.
"What makes the Business Valuation Club unique are the opportunities students have to grow in the profession before they even receive a diploma," said Gumm.
The club also encourages personal growth by dedicating time to volunteer with multiple charities in the Lubbock community. Once a month, members of the club dedicate their time to cooking breakfast for families and staff at the Ronald McDonald House.
"The BV Club prepared me for my career in valuation in a multitude of ways," said Joe Miller, a 2015 graduate from the Rawls College and former vice president of the club. "The club exposed me to the highly complex methodologies and mechanics used in business valuation and it helped me work towards one of the most highly respected credentials in my profession- the ASA designation. Additionally, the club kick-started my professional network by facilitating networking events with working professionals and recruiting trips to hiring firms."
Miller, who is currently a Senior Associate in Valuation Services at RSM US LLP in Dallas, Texas, recently got the chance to visit with current TTU Business Valuation Club members when the students visited his office at RSM.
"During these visits we had the chance to interact with valuation professionals at all levels in their careers, witness working offices, and work through a case study of what associates do on a daily basis," said Gumm.
Miller believes that the valuation field can be challenging due to the stratification of so many specialties. These include mergers and acquisitions, consulting, litigation, and financial reporting. His advice for students interested in valuation is to learn skills from all areas of business.
"Strive to learn finance if you're an accounting major, and strive to learn accounting if you're a finance major," said Miller. "These two disciplines are heavily linked in valuation and you need skills in both areas to be successful. Also, almost every single thing you learn in your business courses will be seen in the industry, so stay sharp in class!"
Miller also encourages students to get involved with the Business Valuation Club.
"Most firms pay thousands of dollars in opportunity costs every year to educate and certify their staff," said Miller. "The BV Club in the Rawls College actually helps members with ASA certification, making these individuals very attractive from a hiring standpoint. Joining the club is asking for a challenge, but the rewards are real."
Learn more about the Business Valuation Club at Texas Tech.