Young Business Professionals in the Making

Bauer Cougar Investment Fund Group Shows Young Students in Family Organization the Financial Ropes

Published on October 30, 2014

Tom George, a Bauer finance professor who oversees the Cougar Investment Fund, spoke to visiting young students from the Sugar Land chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. <a href="">See more photos</a>.

Tom George, a Bauer finance professor who oversees the Cougar Investment Fund, spoke to visiting young students from the Sugar Land chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Houston-area youngsters learned about college, finances and business in October from five graduate students at the C. T. Bauer College of Business during a special event on campus for the Sugar Land chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

The national organization boasts more than 230 chapters across the United States (including the Sugar Land group) and is comprised of mothers with children ages 2 to 19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leadership by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Each year, the local chapter presents thrust programs in both financial literacy and education for children in the group ranging from 8 to 14 years old, and this year, they wanted to highlight Bauer College’s AIM Center for Investment Management, home to the college’s Cougar Investment Fund, through which students research, invest and manage private investor funds. The $5 million learning laboratory, which was part of the legacy gift left by Charles T. “Ted” Bauer, the college’s namesake, is the lens through which students gain insight into investment management, accounting, information technology, marketing and the interaction of those disciplines in a business setting.

“We chose Bauer College and the AIM Center for this activity because we wanted to expose our children to the best possible life experience and information about business, investments, budgeting, savings, time management and the importance of doing so,” said Jacinta Shankle, a Jack and Jill of America member and mother.

She added: “Only the AIM Center for Investment Management at Bauer could help us to achieve this.”

The campus visit was led by five Bauer MBA and MS Finance candidates who are part of the current group of Cougar Fund student managers and Tom George, a Bauer finance professor who oversees the fund.

“One station was focused on the importance of saving and the miracle of compound interest.  The second dealt with what stocks are, what it means to own a piece of a company, and what makes one company a better investment than another,” George said. “The third one addressed the importance of profit in a capitalist system, emphasizing the idea that all the goods and most services are produced by companies, and to profit is why investors and entrepreneurs with good ideas start companies.”

In addition to learning about investments, he said, the youngsters likely made memories that will stick with them long after their elementary school days.

“This is a sharp group of kids who will have many options for where to attend college.  We hope this experience, and others they might have with UH, remains salient in their memories and the memories of their parents so they give us a chance when they are making their college decisions,” George added.

Although it will be years before the students head to college, these types of events help to open the door to the possibility of higher education, said Joyce Williams, a program director in Bauer’s Office of Undergraduate Business Programs who is responsible for organizing partnerships between the college and community organizations, including local elementary and middle schools.

“It is important for Bauer to reach out to organizations like Jack and Jill and other K-12 entities to showcase possible business careers at an early age,” she said. “There are a large number of youth that have never stepped on a college campus, or they will be the first in their family to attend college, and by Bauer welcoming them into our home, we are able to build relationships with the students and hopefully they will want to become Cougars one day.”