Skip to content

Howard University Students Win $1 Million Grand Prize In Goldman Sachs Competition

Howard University Students Win $1 Million Grand Prize In Goldman Sachs Competition

They competed against several other HBCUs!

Howard University (HU) students recently won the $1 million grand prize in a Goldman Sachs Competition, The Dig reports.

The Goldman Sachs Market Madness: HBCU Possibilities Case Study Competition is an immersive program that introduces students to financial concepts. The entire program lasted four months and featured 26 different teams from 12 HBCUs. The teams each participated in weekly educational sessions with 50 Goldman Sachs coaches who taught them the business, introduced them to various people, and inundated them with the overall culture of the firm. 

Participants received training opportunities and were responsible for conducting company-centered research related to the finance sector to create a business solution plan that they presented. Participants this year consulted with PepsiCo., a Goldman Sachs partner. The teams underwent two stages of the competition, preparing for eight weeks before competing in the final round on April 13. 

Corine Houngninou, a sophomore computer information systems major, Jaiden Coleman, a sophomore finance major, JD Jean-Jacques, a freshman history major, Sierra Williamson, a freshman business management major, and Surakshya Aryal, a sophomore computer science major, all represented for the Howard University team. Together, they competed against teams from Florida A&M, Morgan State, Prairie View A&M, and Spelman College. Ultimately, Howard’s team secured the win, walking away with the one million dollar grand prize. 

“This group of Howard University students has exhibited an exemplary understanding of what it takes to be successful in the corporate world, and I look forward to seeing what success lies ahead. Because of their efforts, this grant will help create additional opportunities for their fellow Howard students,” said HU Provost Anthony K. Wutoh.

The team collaborated with one another, using all they had learned to comprise their final presentation. Williamson spoke about the significance of the program and gave details about their winning presentation, saying, “The Goldman Sachs Market madness program taught how to grow and future-proof a business. Mergers and acquisitions became our final recommendation, with our team presenting an innovative acquisition target to a PepsiCo executive of the healthy meat snacks company Chomps. This acquisition was financially attractive and ensures that their company continues to meet customer trends.” 

Many students said they didn’t know if they would be interested in the finance sector but may have a change of heart after participating in the program. 

“[The Goldman Sachs program] has allowed me to expand my interests past technology and innovation. While I previously had little interest in finance and global markets, the program has allowed me to visualize how these careers align with my career aspirations,” added Houngninou.

Megan Hogan, Chief Diversity Officer at Goldman Sachs says the program is an extension of the company’s commitment to a more diverse and equitable world. 

“Our commitment to HBCUs, and the growth of the…Market Madness…Program has furthered our ability to convene diverse perspectives and backgrounds, bringing top Black talent into the firm as a continuation of our investment in racial equity. The funding they’ve won for their schools will go beyond their team, benefitting and supporting future generations of HBCU students,” said Hogan.

Congratulations, HU!

Photo Courtesy of The Dig