When the final results were tabulated, our teams, Far & Wide Traders and AU Traders, respectively earned 28th and 39th places! They did a fabulous job in this tough final competition round against teams from many of the world’s top business schools.
Next is the really exciting part! AU is working on travel arrangements to send the teams to Chicago for a special day of learning and networking at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in April. The students will fly to Chicago on April 8 and check into the Club Quarters-Central Loop hotel, in the heart of Chicago’s business district.The next day they can explore the city, and will have their photos done in a professional photo shoot.
April 10 is the main event— the “CME Group Day of Market Education”—which all students from the top 50 competition teams were invited to attend. The students will spend the day learning from experts on the global marketplace, followed by a networking reception and dinner.
The value to students of participating in this type of competition, where they gain real world experience in a controlled environment, cannot be overstated. AU professor Eric Wang described the CME competition as giving the students “an excellent opportunity to practise trading in futures contracts, learn about the relations between macroeconomic variables and commodity prices, and how to collect and analyze data. They also developed their teamwork skills; it definitely enriched their university experience.”
Far & Wide Traders team member Alexander Poulton echoed Dr. Wang’s thoughts, saying, “The biggest learning experiences I had were team work based. I learned how to more effectively communicate and organize a virtual team.” The teams used a teleconferencing system provided by AU, since most live in separate cities. “I also learned about group decision making …the most challenging part of the competition was making decisions that not everyone agreed with, and following through with them when times were adverse.”
Natalie Allport, also on the Far & Wide Traders, is a Canadian National Slopestyle Snowboard Development Team member, and was competing in the CME competition while also working, training, and travelling for snowboarding competitions. The virtual team model and the support of her teammates, “allowed me to be part of a great experience and team, while also being able to focus on my other commitments,” she said. “It was a great feeling knowing that we were able to make finals and that we had a formidable finish among the best business schools in the world.”
The 2015 team members join what is growing into a fine tradition of AU student teams finishing in the top 10% of the annual CME competition:
MBA students Todd Boyer, Graham Wall, and Ashley Mangles
Undergraduate students Bryce Schultz, Alexander Poulton and Scott Beaton
Far & Wide Traders: 28th
Undergrad students Alex Poulton, Natalie Allport, Opp Sihota
AU Traders: 39th
MBA students Todd Boyer, Anshula Ohri, Tim Stevens, Stephanie Partridge
Winning was important, but so was learning:
According to Dr. Eric Wang, academic advisor for the AU trading teams (with Dr. Merlyn Foo), “Both teams were competing very hard,” in the final round of the competition. “In the first few days of the final round, the markets presented some opportunities and we were aiming at the top four spots. Unfortunately, we didn’t make those!” he continued. “So for the second half of the final round, our focus was to give each team member a chance to execute trades and become more familiar with the futures contracts’ particulars.”
What they were trading:
“Futures” are derivatives originally designed to allow farmers to hedge against changes in the prices of their crops between planting and harvest. That is why many futures contracts focus on things such as livestock and grains. However, the futures market has long since expanded to include much, much more. The students in the 2015 CME Challenge were trading in the following contracts: