For Josh Burkett ’10, a finance major from Mansfield, Texas, meticulous note-taking paid off outside the classroom: he recently placed second in the solo competition of the sixth annual Nationwide/Fisher Biz Quiz Competition.

Hosted by the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and Nationwide, the Biz Quiz tested participants’ knowledge of material in six-weeks’ worth of The Wall Street Journal. Fifty-four students from 18 prestigious colleges and universities from across the nation participated in the event, which had rounds for teams and individuals.

Finance major Josh Burkett '10 (center) recently placed second in the solo competition of the sixth annual Nationwide/Fisher Biz Quiz Competition.
Finance major Josh Burkett ’10 (center) recently placed second in the solo competition of the sixth annual Nationwide/Fisher Biz Quiz Competition.

Burkett says that by the time the six-week period was over, he had amassed 77 pages of notes, studying the Journal four to five hours a day. He had his notes bound and then used them to review with teammates Benjamin Burns ’12 and Ryan Smith ’12, both accounting majors, on the trip to Ohio.

Three undergraduate students made up each team and competed in three team rounds. Nine teams advance to the semi-finals, with only the top three teams going to the finals.

The Mays team’s effort was rewarded as they made it to the semifinal round to finish in fifth place behind Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Emory. They came out ahead of teams from North Carolina, SMU, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and Wisconsin, among others.

Risa Meyer, an academic advisor at Mays, was the team advisor for the event. She quizzed the team members on WSJ content each week and traveled with them to Ohio for the competition. She was pleased with the outcome.

“Throughout the weekend, they were serious about the competition but also had fun,” she said. “Numerous students and advisors came up to all of us saying how they were cheering for A&M and how much fun they were to watch. It was a breath of fresh air compared to some of the students that took themselves very seriously and a testament to our students as strong competitors with great people skills.”

Burkett says the competition was “really fun, and something that I’d always wanted to do. It was a chance to shine and represent Mays Business School in the competition.”

After graduation, Burkett will return to his previous summer employer, Barclays Capital in New York, for a full-time analyst position. The competition made him appreciate all that the WSJ has to offer, he says. “In the past I might just read the front page or marketplace to see what deals were going on. I have a new respect for all of the different sections of the journal,” including stories in the personal section that relate to everyday life. By reading the entirety of the newspaper, he is well informed about the business world and able to communicate to people about a variety of current events, he says. He plans to continue reading the paper deeply, though he is taking a break from the daily exercise to focus more on preparing for the chartered financial analyst level I exam he will soon take before graduating.