By Camarie Eaton
One semester after the chartering of an Investment Club at County College of Morris, the club’s founders are recruiting members and visitors to meetings so they can teach and discuss investing tactics.
When Ben Devenezia transferred to County College of Morris last fall, he recognized the need for an investment club. He and fellow leaders of the club are now looking to build membership and create a sustainable resource for future CCM students.
The club meets at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Devenezia, who is leaving CCM at the end of the spring semester, said the club’s current goal is to pass on information about investing, the process of committing or laying out money for future profit.
“My major goal is to find someone to take it over and do a better job than I did,” Devenezia said. “If we can really make something sustainable, you know, we can kind of create a lasting finance resource that CCM has never had.”
The club has become a resource for students to not only discuss finance and investment but also to receive advice on skills such as developing a social media presence, strengthening résumés, and landing internships in the finance industry. At the end of the semester, the club will hold a pizza party.
“It’s a great starting point ‘cause it’s free,” Devenezia said. “If you have someone, whether it be a professor or a few students that are willing to work with somebody, it can be a great experience.”
Students of all majors are welcome to the club regardless of prior knowledge in finance, Devenezia said. If he can help someone walk into an interview with more confidence, he said will have done his job well.
“I love what I love, but I’m not serious about anything,” Devenezia said. “So if you can just make someone laugh while you’re teaching them something, they’ll remember it more.”
Tony Dattolo, co-founder of the club, joined because he felt the club aligned with his goals to continue at a four-year college as a future finance major.
“General financial and investment knowledge affects everyone,” Dattolo said. “You do that stuff in your life regardless of who you are.”
As a new organization on campus which started last semester, the club has only so many events and projects they can hold, Dattolo said. However, with the intention of helping business students through the internship process, the club created a contact list of the financial companies in Morris County.
“It would be good if we could get a couple of those financial firms to send us guest speakers,” Dattolo said. “Or offer opportunities for internships and partner with places in the area that can help students that are driven enough and interested enough.”
Although discussing finance and investment can sound serious or intimidating, the meetings are often interesting and fun, Dattolo said.
Jonathan Barriga, a business major with a finance concentration, was singled out to join the club by Devenezia after their investment principles class one day. He often researches finance on his own time and takes a major interest in cryptocurrency, a digital currency that has become a recent global phenomenon.
“It’s definitely something we wanna bring into the club,” said Barriga regarding cryptocurrency. “Initially, I was thinking of doing something separate, but I think it’s a better fit in the investment club.”
As the founders are looking to create a sustainable investment and finance community at CCM, increase in membership is crucial, according to Barriga.
“If you’re not really in [investments], you have no idea like where to even begin,” Barriga said. “And this gives you a place to actually begin.”