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What I Learned From Organizing a Finance PhD Student Conference

The ICF hosted the inaugural Yale Doctoral Fall Finance Conference on November 9, 2018. PhD Candidate Kaushik Vasudevan organized the successful event which brought PhD students from across the U.S. and Canada together to listen to, present, and give feedback on their latest research.

This past November, I had the opportunity to help organize the Yale Doctoral Fall Finance Conference, which brought students from across the country to present their research. The conference was borne out of a conversation amongst some of the PhD students in our program this past spring. We thought that hosting a student finance conference might provide a nice, collegial setting to meet and engage with graduate students studying finance at other universities. After the fact, I’d have to say that the conference was a success! Most of the PhD students in our program attended, and we all appreciated the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with peers from different schools.


Helping organize the conference was a valuable intellectual opportunity for me. We had over fifty submissions from a variety of schools, all across a diverse range of topics within finance. I learned a tremendous amount from reading through the submissions that we received. Having to settle upon the nine papers that we eventually selected was a difficult task, given that there were so many interesting and deserving submissions. The student presenters that we selected all did a fantastic job on their papers and presentations, which were well-executed and addressed important questions. All of the presenters also appreciated the invitation to present their work and the feedback that they received. My experience with organizing and attending the conference has helped raise my attention to interesting questions and given me many insights that I’ll hopefully be able to apply in my own research.

I am grateful to Yale SOM and the ICF for supporting this conference. The ICF was supportive of the idea for the conference from the get-go. Special thanks to Electra Ferriello, whose efforts were instrumental to the success of the conference!

KaushikAbout Kaushik Vasudevan: Kaushik Vasudevan is a second-year PhD student in financial economics at Yale University. His research interests include asset pricing and financial intermediation. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as a research associate at AQR Capital Management and received an AB in Statistics and Economics from the University of Chicago.