Windy city windup

On April 7, students from Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business were in Chicago taking part in the CME Group Day of Market Education after finishing in the top 10% of the 2017 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trading Challenge. Two of our teams, The Bulls and the Trident Traders, both earned invitations to the full day conference and networking event.

The Bulls
Geeta Sainani | Chandan Johal | Gurdeep Parmar

Trident Traders
Tina Martin | Celena Peppard | O.P. Sihota | Scott Birt | Michael Jones

Students pictured above: O.P. Sihota, Celena Peppard, Tina Martin, Chandan Johal, Michael Jones

“A record number of students participated in this year’s Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trading Challenge so to have two Athabasca University teams finish in top standing is really quite a feat” said Alex Kondra, MBA Program Director, who joined the students in Chicago. “Another interesting fact to note is that Athabasca University was one of only 10 schools to have two teams finish in the top 10% – among the likes of Carnegie Mellon University, Imperial College London, New York University, and Rutgers University to name a few – so we were in some pretty elite company”.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Trading Challenge is an international competition for business students that provides an authentic, first-hand experience trading in financial markets. It encourages students to gain and develop a deeper understanding of the interactions among trading and markets in a dynamic real-time environment.

Using live market updates in a simulated environment, students work together over a four-week period to build their portfolio of investments. The team with the largest valued portfolio at the end of the CME Trading Challenge wins ultimate bragging rights and cash prizes! The top 10% finishing teams are also invited to attend an exclusive one-day Market Education Conference hosted by the CME group in Chicago, Illinois. While there they have the opportunity to learn from business experts about the global marketplace and to network with people from the industry’s top-performing firms.

The students that attended had a pretty amazing time as well and when asked for their thoughts on the the competition, here’s what some of them had to say:

“I would simply say amazing experience with industry leaders and good networking opportunities. Thanks Athabasca University!” -Gurdeep Parmar, MBA student

O.P. Sihota, Bachelor of Commerce student

“This trip was educational, motivational, and eye opening. As a finance major I’ve spent years learning about theory, the competition gave me the opportunity to see those theories in action. To top it all off I had the opportunity to meet some truly gifted people, such as Leo Melamed, who I have spent my life seeing only on TV or reading about in the Wall Street Journal. Going to the CME and seeing firsthand how the exchange operates really puts things into perspective, as a university student I only ever expected to see the exchange in my textbooks, it was a wonderful opportunity.”

Chandan Johal, MBA student

“I’m thankful to AU for the opportunity to attend the CME Group Day of Market Education Conference. It was truly a privilege to be able to travel to Chicago to partake in the one-day conference. A fascinating opportunity to learn and network with the financial industry’s top business leaders. I also met some amazing business students from AU.”

Tina Martin, Bachelor of Commerce student

“I found this trip to be a wonderful experience! The photo shoot was not as intimidating as I had thought it would be & the Market Day of Education was amazing! It was fantastic to meet the faces behind the competition & leaders from our industry. It was so much fun to get to see futures trading in a way that very few will ever get to experience! I am already planning a team for next year so I can compete again. I thank Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business from the bottom of my heart for making opportunities like this one available to students. It has truly enriched my learning experience & allowed me a taste of the more traditional university education through being able to meet my teammates face-to-face!”

Michael Jones, Accounting student

“It was an amazing day to listen and learn from trading leaders. Not only about where trading is today, but where it is going in the future and how to be a part of it. Thanks to Athabasca University for providing an amazing learning opportunity that helped to enhance and reinforce what I’ve been learning in my classes. It was also pretty cool to hear a story in which Milton Friedman’s name is dropped…total geek out. Can’t wait to compete again next year!”