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Cara Scadden

Specialization Spotlight: Applied Security Analysis

by Cara Scadden Thursday, July 5, 2018

What is the Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP)?

The Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP) is a nationally recognized investment research and portfolio management specialization within the Wisconsin MBA supported by the Hawk Center for Investment Analysis. We prepare students for investment careers in a wide variety of positions – including financial analysts, fund managers, and portfolio analysts – at leading firms worldwide. Students are provided a unique opportunity to manage over $50 million in equity and fixed-income portfolios in the second year of the program.

Key Characteristics of Successful Students.

Individuals with a background in finance and a passion for working in the investment field should consider ASAP. In addition, the below attributes describe students who succeed in the ASAP specialization:

  • CFA Exam experience
  • Investment experience
  • Excellent quantitative skills
  • Keen insight
  • Results driven
  • Confidence to defend research and recommendations

Roles After Graduation

Graduates of the ASAP specialization obtain full-time positions with the below common job titles:

  • Equity Analyst
  • Fixed Income Analyst
  • Equity Research Associate
  • Buy-Side Analyst
  • Sell-Side Analyst
  • Portfolio Analyst
  • Institutional Sales
  • REIT Analyst
  • Investment Product Manager/Sales Representative
  • Wealth Manager

You can find more information about potential careers in Applied Security Analysis on our website.

Coursework that Creates Expertise

The ASAP specialization provides a curriculum that combines hands on learning with a deep dive into investment research and portfolio management. Our classes are taught by investment practitioners who have the knowledge and experience needed to educated and train our students to hit the ground running as soon as they graduate. As a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program partner, we integrate at least 70 percent of the CFA certification program content into the curriculum.

In the first year of the program, ASAP students are learning the skills they need to manage the portfolios in their second year. Students have complete control over their investment decisions, including defining their own philosophy and process. Weekly update meetings with practitioners allow students to develop communication and presentation skills, and quarterly meetings with our board of advisors give students the sense of what it is like to present to a client. In addition, our small class size allows students to have meaningful one-on-one interactions with our faculty, fellow classmates and practitioners. More information about the ASAP curriculum is available on our website.

Applied Learning Opportunities

Students in ASAP have the unique opportunity to manage more than $50 million in equity and fixed income funds in the second year of the program. While they are responsible for reporting to an advisory board of investment professionals, they have complete control over their investment decisions. This hands on applied learning experience provides students with the skillset they need to be successful in the workplace. They are also provided free access to the same industry tools that the professionals use such as Factset and Bloomberg. 

In addition, ASAP offers many opportunities for students to network directly with professionals. We provide these opportunities through firm visits to cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Milwaukee. If you are interested in learning more about the applied learning opportunities, you can find more information on our website.

Unique Benefits

As a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program Partner, we actively support students in obtaining their CFA Charter. We provide opportunities to receive discounted study materials as well as scholarships for the exam.

Students are also able to learn directly from the professionals. We are supported by a strong network of experienced investment practitioners from a wide range of financial fields. We have many successful alumni who maintain regular involvement in the program as weekly guest speakers, mock interviewers, as well as providing both internships and job opportunities for our students.