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College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS3161
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3161
Phone: (208) 885-6478
Toll free: (800) 960-3033

Tommy Sauriol

Tommy Sauriol

When I graduated from Eagle High School in 2006, I had every intention of attending college at my parents' Alma Mater, Washington State. My intentions changed when I toured the University of Idaho with a couple of good friends and instantly fell in love with its campus, its college lifestyle, and especially its college of business. With a brewing passion for investing, I wanted to attend a university which offered a unique learning experience to capitalize on that interest. The College of Business and Economics provides a distinctive learning experience with its Integrated Business Curriculum (IBC), Barker Trading Program, Davis Investment Group, Vandal Solutions, many study abroad programs and internships, etc. I wanted to get the most out of my education, so I decided to try them all out. You only live once.

As a finance major, it was ironic that I first decided to join a student-run marketing business, Vandal Solutions. I was able to diversify my resume, acquire some sales and marketing experience, and even travel abroad. Vandal Solutions was provided a unique opportunity to franchise out of the country to Macedonia. A new business school called Integrated Business Faculty (IBF) in Skopje (Scope-ee-uh) had developed a curriculum which mirrored our IBC program at UI. With a connection through our faculty advisor and UI professor, Michele O’Neill, a team of seven students was assigned the task of helping students at IBF start a similar student-run business. It was challenging to communicate our ideas to Macedonian students in a way which would coincide with the Macedonian economy. The project was largely successful, and we were well received by the Macedonian students. As rewarding as the project was, it was even more rewarding to experience the country’s vibrant culture and its people.

After my experiences in Vandal Solutions, I decided to join two student-run investment groups. The first, The Davis Investment Group, is a student-run stock fund, which provides students with real portfolio management experience. My passion for investing has only grown since joining, and I was able to learn how to pick the right companies for our long term investment strategy. With the group, I will soon travel to Chicago, tour the Chicago Board of Trade, and network with alumni. Since joining the group, I have realized that I desire a career in portfolio management.

The second investment group, The Barker Capital Management Group, offered a unique experience to expand my knowledge of the bond markets. Like the Davis Investment Group, the focus of the group is on long-term investment. However, this fund had a trading aspect to it, which I was instantly drawn to. The "Alpha" trading portion focuses on developing short-term positions in the market to take advantage of short term trends. I acquired some leadership experience as I became the Senior Portfolio Manager of the Alpha portion. Since joining, I have been able to think about investing as a long-term investor and as a trader, a combination that has helped me better understand the markets. I have also become a funded trader for the Barker Trading Program, which allows me to trade a $10,000 fund at my full discretion. Through this experience, I can learn the derivatives markets, trade options, and futures contracts. There truly is no other program like the Barker Trading Program in the United States. I would like to thank our great alumni, Rocheford Barker, for providing the funds and making it all possible. In addition to the campus experiences, I interned at Boeing and experienced life in Seattle, catching a few Mariner games in the process.

All in all, my college career flew by way too fast. I’m honestly looking forward to, as well as dreading my graduation in May. I can truly say that I had a unique experience and took full advantage of the opportunities that the University of Idaho provided me. I would like to thank my professors, Clark Maxam, Michele O’Neill, and Brett Olsen, and everyone else for making it all possible. For that, I am forever grateful.