Weatherhead School of Management students have been a dominant force at the Association of Corporate Growth Cleveland Cup Competition for the past five years—and this year was no exception. CWRU students claimed first, second, third and an unofficial fourth place, all while showing off their business acumen.
For fourth-year undergraduate student Lila Albershtat, a member of the fourth-place team, the competition offered valuable insights into topics such as corporate mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity.
“[The] extensive board of investment bankers and financial advisors gave us an authentic taste of how cutthroat the investment banking industry is,” she explained. “They asked tough questions and definitely tested us on our knowledge of the case, which as students, was great real industry practice.”
Albershtat, who is in the integrated bachelor’s/master’s in finance program and has a secondary major in accounting, also appreciated the networking opportunities the event afforded and helped her experience the realities of the industry first hand. After completing her degrees, she plans to enroll in law school to apply what she’s learned, ultimately focusing on corporate finance.
We sat down with Albershtat to learn more about her interests and how she has been involved at CWRU as she prepares to complete her bachelor’s degree portion of her program this spring.
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
1. What interested you in studying accounting and finance?
Something I was always interested in, but a topic that is rarely spoken about in high school, was how corporations work as well as the different specialties that make an organization successful. Learning the ins and outs of corporate America through investment and financial aspects helped me realize the information I was craving. Accounting and finance are at the forefront of solving problems, whether they be analytical or advisory. Having an aptness for problem-solving, I thought this would be a perfect challenge.
2. What inspired you to pursue the Master of Finance degree?
I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of what I was learning at the undergraduate level. Some of my favorite professors are also at the forefront of these more complex courses and subjects, and I was excited to get a chance to listen to them once more on new topics with prior applications.
3. How have you been involved on campus?
I have been lucky enough to be a part of the Art History Club and Cleveland Hillel. I have volunteered at the Cleveland Food Bank and have been a part of Beta Alpha Psi.
4. What have you enjoyed most about your time at CWRU?
During my time at CWRU, I have cherished the relationships I have built with other students in my cohort and especially the amazing professors I have had the chance of taking classes with. I have made life-long friends and love the inclusive community at Case Western [Reserve]. I truly felt I had a sense of belonging at Weatherhead and Case Western [Reserve].
5. What internships have you had?
I have interned at Candlewood Partners, LLC, where I was a financial analyst assisting their office with a merger they are in the process of developing. This summer, I am going to intern at Marcum, LLP as a financial and tax accountant to further cement my knowledge within my secondary major.
6. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned at CWRU?
I have learned to always ask questions and that there is no shame in being wrong or asking for a professor’s help.