March 29, 2016 Accounting Honors students win Wall Street Journal Challenge

Fisher students George Miller-Davis, Henry Miller-Davis and Samarth Malhotra recently put their time management and memory skills to work in preparation for the annual Wall Street Journal Challenge, a quiz bowl-type competition that tests participants from schools around the country on current business events.

Their reward for hours of reading, study and memorization? Victories in the team challenge and first- and second-place finishes in the individual rounds of the event, which was held at Texas A&M University.

“I wanted to participate in the competition because I enjoy reading the news daily and I thought that participating in a trivia competition would be challenging and fun,” Malhotra said. “I had previously participated in a shorter freshman version of this competition at Ohio State, which also motivated me to give this competition another shot.”

Formerly known as Fisher’s Biz Quiz, the Wall Street Journal Challenge requires teams to study five weeks of the Wall Street Journal ahead of an individual challenge, where each student completes a three-part written test, and a team challenge, where participants face fast-paced questions.

The competition drew teams from Texas A&M, Miami University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Texas, the University of Arizona, Michigan, Michigan State, Emory University and Providence.

Wall Street Journal Challenge.

Samarth Malhotra, George Miller-Davis, Henry Miller-Davis and Tada Yamamoto pose at the Wall Street Journal Challenge. 

Henry Miller-Davis finished first in the individual competition, while George, his twin brother, finished second.

“Most people specialize in one section of the paper, but the individual test covers everything, so it is really hard for most people,” Henry said. “I put in time to make sure I looked over both of my teammates’ assigned articles as well as mine and memorized their notecards, so I was able to win by having a breadth of knowledge across the whole paper.”

All three students are members of the Accounting Honors program, which factored in to the amount of time each could prepare for the challenge.

“We each put in a tremendous amount of time preparing for the competition,” George said. “Reading the Journal took an hour or two each day and preparing practice questions and notes took another hour or two. In addition, we spent countless hours reviewing, practicing, and memorizing. Over the course of the six weeks, I spent well in excess of 150 hours. It was a lot of effort in addition to our normal classwork.

“Winning the competition demonstrated that hard work really does pay off. I think that our extreme level of preparation really set us apart and allowed us to win.”

The team was coached by Tada Yamamoto, a first-year MBA student who also earned his undergraduate degree at Fisher.

In addition to copious studying, the team was employed a “buzzer strategy” that was effective throughout the team competition and helped secure the win.

“My main takeaway from my experience was how powerful it is to stay informed about current events,” Malhotra said. “During the six weeks of this competition, I read a variety of articles on topics I knew very little about, but I was able to apply my knowledge to the classroom and in casual conversation. I will definitely continue reading the Wall Street Journal, because I know it will help me learn about new developments in business, which will ultimately lead to new ideas and challenge any preconceptions I may have.”