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Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kelley student wows Wall Street with bold stock pick at prestigious Ira Sohn Investment Conference

May 26, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On the same day that a 17-year-old from North Carolina won "American Idol," an undergraduate student at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business won Wall Street's version, a major competition for aspiring stock traders.

Sunjay Gorawara, a 21-year-old senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., majoring in finance, economic consulting and public policy, on Wednesday (May 25) came in first place at the new competition, which is part of the prestigious Ira Sohn Investment Conference in New York.

Sunjay Gorawara

Sunjay Gorawara

Print-Quality Photo

His choice of online university Bridgeport Education Inc. (BPI) as the best investment idea at the Sohn conference resulted in the best one-day rise in the company's stock in more than six months.

He won the contest over hundreds of other submissions from across the country, including those from veteran investment professionals. The other three finalists were all investment professionals. One managed his own fund and another recently graduated from Harvard Business School and is working at a fund in San Francisco.

"Gorawara also earned a coveted spot among the Wall Street glitterati at this year's Ira Sohn conference and went head-to-head against one of its biggest short-seller presenters: Steve Eisman," reported Mary Pilon, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, in her blog article, "Meet Your American Idol (of Stock Picking)."

Today, interviewed on CNBC, Gorawara explained his decision to go against Eisman, a legendary hedge fund manager who used the same conference a year ago to argue against investing in for-profit colleges.

"My mother always taught me, when judging someone on a stereotype or a first impression, you may get the right answer, but at the same time you might miss out on a few unique and outstanding individuals," he said in explaining his stock pick on the program "Power Lunch." "At the same time, when painting an industry with a broad brush stroke, you may get the right answer, but you may miss out on a few opportunities."

Gorawara soon will be interning at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as an analyst in the investment banking division. As a Wells Scholar, he was one of 20 students selected by IU for its most prestigious full academic scholarship. He also is a Coca-Cola Scholar and in the Kelley Business Honors Program and the Hutton Honors College.

He also is one of 32 students chosen by Kelley faculty to participate in the school's Investment Banking and Capital Markets Workshop, a rigorous, two-semester program aimed at developing skills for excellence in investment banking careers.

"Sunjay is a co-president of the Investment Banking Workshop and has been a fantastic leader for his class," said David C. Haeberle, the Peterson Faculty Fellow in Investment Banking and director of both the Kelley School's MBA Investment Banking Academy and Investment Banking & Capital Markets Workshop. "I always knew he had fantastic technical skills, but it is now confirmed that Sunjay is a rock star, setting new standards for students following him to achieve."