Imagine learning the specialized ways of evaluating and showcasing a new business project and putting your financial knowledge into real-life decision making. What if you get an occasion to interview professionals and build your skills as an aspiring financial analyst? Thrilling, isn’t it?

Many a times, various types of business competitions are hosted by different institutes of Bangladesh. However, a competition that specifically provides a platform for the potential augmentation of the future financial analysts was almost non-existent before the NSU Finance Club became a pioneer to organizing Blueprint 1.0. Established in 2014, with the motto of providing an ingenious podium for Finance majors, NSU Finance Club dreamt of a nation-wide competition that would solely focus on Finance. This dream later culminated into reality through Blueprint 1.0 in 2015. It is the stage where, by crunching numbers, performing analysis and constructing financial models to present to the leading industries of the country, participants get the opportunity to vividly apply their theoretical knowledge into practice. Through this contest, you get to, ‘Fake it till you make it’, standing in the shoes of a financial analyst and playing with numbers.

Finance Club Team for Blueprints 1.0Picture: NSU Finance Club Team from Blueprints 1.0

Over 600 participants from 21 universities became a part of Blueprint 1.0, which offered a prize-money of BDT 3, 50, 000 for the champion. It was not merely about winning. It was about the prospective analysts developing networks with current professionals and acquiring skills to secure their future. Blueprint is not like typical business competitions. It involves lesser rounds, greater networking opportunities and more effective feedback sessions. As a cherry over the cake, the top 3 finalist teams in this contest are recognized with stunning monetary rewards. That is not all. The top 5 teams receive the unparalleled prospect of being considered for internship at the renowned sponsoring financial firms of the country.

Blueprints 1.0 WinnersPicture: Winners from Blueprints 1.0

Such competitions are essential for the personal growth of our youth of tomorrow. Not only can you implement your academic skills in reality in such podiums, but you can also compare yourself with the rest of the pack. When you meet so many people from outside your universities, who share similar interests, ambitions and understanding, you can get an idea of your standing, a proper measure of your capabilities, by competing against them. And to bolster the same vision, this year, NSU Finance Club structured Blueprints for the second time, naming it ‘Blueprint 2.0’. This remarkable venture aspires to mold its participants into a more presentable, informed and equipped individual. It offers the exclusive opportunity to propose a business idea to actual companies and gain feedbacks from expert industrialists, who, by pointing out the shortcomings and strengths of the proposal help turn it into a solid design, which can serve beyond this competition.

registrationPicture: Registration Booth of Blueprint 2.0

‘Blueprint 2.0’, presented by IDLC Financing Happiness, in association with Dhaka Bank and The Daily Star, commenced on October 28, 2016 at the North South University’s Auditorium. Students from over 18 universities joined this road to glory. To reach audience from all over the country, road-shows were held at Khulna University, AIBA Sylhet, Jahangirnagar University, IBA – Jahangir Nagar University, BRAC University, IBA – University of Dhaka, Chittagong Independent University, East West University, East Delta University, University of Dhaka, BUET, BUP and UIU. The response received from the young hearts was overwhelming. To celebrate the congregation of these creative individuals and to familiarize the participants with the competition’s rounds, a workshop was held on the first day. With a registration fee of BDT 1,500, 152 teams from NSU, BRAC, BUP, DU, IBA, IBA – Jahangir Nagar University, Jahangir Nagar University, Jagannath University, Bohemians, East West University, National University, Eden Girls’ College, Comilla University, Rajshahi University, UIU, Chittagong Independent University, East Delta University as well as KUET became part of the tide. Despite not having any knowledge in Finance, Business or Marketing, a team of prospective engineers from KUET, is participating in this year’s contest to embrace something new.

Jane Alam Romel, the group chief marketing officer at IDLC Finance Limited, shared his idea of the Blueprint 2.0 at the workshop. Upon being asked about IDLC’s prime reason to support such a contest he brilliantly described the viewpoints from the eye of a renowned financial institution of Bangladesh. IDLC regards sponsoring this event as a positive investment for the potential growth of the economy of tomorrow. More than 25% of the population of Bangladesh constitutes of our youth and the median age of that group is 24. Today Bangladesh thrives as a low mid-income nation in the heart of the world. We aim to be promoted to a mid-income economy in the next 5 years and that calls for investment in the financial knowledge of the people who will drive tomorrow’s economy. To attract young talents and to provide them a safe route to success and progress, IDLC thrives as an irreplaceable support to NSU Finance Club’s Blueprint 2.0.

We often hear words like, ‘Finance is a mundane subject where nerdy analysts muse over numbers.’ NSU Finance Club intends to change this concept with a vibrant and interactive competition like ‘Blueprint 2.0.’ The contest is divided into 3 simple rounds. Round-1 requires the participating teams to come up with a business proposal. Research on that proposal, if sanctioned, has to be conducted by the teams to present it to a certain industry in Round 2. Finally, the final round involves the construction of a financial model by the finalist teams to prove the feasibility of their proposals and to forecast their future standing in the market. Each round is made easier with a workshop following the previous level.

The first case study of ‘Blueprints 2.0’ was assigned and the format of the required response was explained to each team at the event’s Workshop-1. The coming workshops are scheduled in November while NSU Finance Club plans to host the Grand Finale of the event on November 22, 2016. This year’s contest offers BDT 200000 for the winning team, BDT 100000 for the runners-up and BDT 50,000 for the team making it to the third position. This is an ideal platform for finance majors to brush up their skills and gather enough inputs to later step into the job market.

Financial Modeling is a significant aspect to be considered by firms. It is the process of using financial data to create forecasts of some particular aspects of a business opportunity. This is used by firms to tailor their pricing strategies in the market, by banks to predict the amount of paybacks from loans and by investors to understand the degree to which an investment can be valuable. Various management trainees, entrepreneurs and investment analysts depicted ‘Blueprint 2.0’ as a vital resource for mastering and affecting the technical financial know-hows outside classroom in this simulation of reality.

Financial modeling and simulation are flourishing imperative arenas of finance in today’s corporate world. The executive body of NSU Finance Club, which took such an amazing initiative, includes Tashrif Islam (President), Miftah Ul Alam (General Secretary), Abrar Taher (Treasurer) and Sajib Barua (Vice President of Logistics). If you missed the registration deadline for 2016’s Blueprint 2.0, don’t be disheartened. The NSU Finance Club hopes to bring to you similar opportunities in the future to upgrade you for your future in the world of finance.

Until then, ignite the analyst in you and keep looking beyond numbers.