Financial Management Association (FMA) International has named the Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School student chapter of FMA a 2008-2009 Superior Chapter in recognition of excellence and dedication to the professional development of finance students. This is the highest level of recognition the more than 100 student chapters can attain.

“I’m very proud of them for aspiring to be the best at what they do. They work very hard,” says A&M chapter faculty sponsor Sally Guyton, a senior lecturer in the finance department. Guyton says that while she is very involved with the group, the students do much of the planning themselves.

FMA International is an organization for practitioners and academicians in finance that promotes research and professional interaction. The organization is responsible for The Journal of Applied Finance, Financial Management, and FMA Online.

The A&M chapter, which has approximately 60 active members, was formed to help students connect to those in the financial industry through networking, trips, and guest speaker events. “Our primary mission is to explore finance careers so that they have a better idea of what they want to do when they graduate,” said Guyton. Undergraduate business students make up the majority of the A&M chapter membership, but there are also graduate student members, and members from other majors with an interest in finance.

Katrina Coulter ’10, vice president of operations for the A&M FMA chapter, said that to achieve the “Superior” distinction their chapter consistently has done more than the FMA International standards required: they needed to have at least eight guest speakers in the year; they had more than six per semester. FMA International recommends two corporate tours per year; the A&M chapter visited Dallas, Austin, and New York City and toured multiple companies in each city.

The “Superior” distinction also recognizes the chapter’s community service, well-maintained website, and number of active members. The chapter also sponsors frequent networking events and encourages former members now in the financial world to connect with current members.

Each year the A&M chapter sponsors two trips to major cities in Texas and one trip to a more distant locale (usually New York City) to visit businesses and witness careers in finance first-hand. In addition to the Texas trips, the chapter has visited London, Toronto, Chicago, and San Francisco. This year, Coulter, a senior finance major, will plan the NYC trip, arranging all of the details from travel and accommodations to meetings with industry professionals and tours of the New York Stock Exchange and New York Mercantile Exchange.