Five Howard University students have secured a $1 million cash prize.


The Future Generation

According to a press release, the cash prize was earned through Goldman Sachs Market Madness: HBCU Possibilities Case Study Competition and will be used to support the next generation of students attending Howard University.

This year’s winning team included a sophomore computer information systems major, Corine Houngninou, a sophomore finance major, Jaiden Coleman; a freshman history major, JD Jean-Jacques; a freshman business management major, Sierra Williamson; and a sophomore computer science major, Surakshya Aryal.

“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,” said Howard University Provost Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., according to a press release. “Because of their efforts, this grant will help create additional opportunities for their fellow Howard students.”

The Presentation

The winning team joined 25 teams across 11 Historically, Black, College and Universities to partake in a four-month program led by 50 Goldman Sachs coaches. Participants joined weekly informative sessions and were exposed to topics centered on business, people, and the culture of the firm.

In addition, the participants were responsible to develop industry and company-focused research. Their findings were applied to create a presentation for Goldman Sachs’ partner, PepsiCo, featuring business solutions and plans.

“Participating in the Goldman Sachs Market Madness: HBCU Possibilities 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. I now feel confident in understanding how the concepts of global investment research, asset management, investment banking, consumer and wealth management play a role in the fields of information systems and data science,” Houngninou said in a statement.

The Competition

Following two stages of the competition, spanning eight weeks, the winning team participated in their final round on April 13. Competitors included Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Prairie View A&M University, and Spelman College. The winning team’s final presentation integrated topics they were exposed to during their weekly informational sessions with experts.

“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,” Williamson said.