Members of the Finance Club once again traveled to Toronto to participate in the annual Rotman International Trading Competition being hosted by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. This 3-day conference held February 23-25, 2012 includes teams of students who participate in simulated trading cases that closely mimic real world markets.
Teams are comprised of four students each and they represent some of the finest Universities in the world. This year our students competed against teams from schools such as: Columbia University, Northwestern, Rutgers, and Duke University. This year’s Brockport team is comprised of: Matthew Bub, Joshua Iorizzo, Yoter Workalemahu, and Laura Martin. Maria Pizzino, current Finance Club President attended as an alternate and served as a student mentor. She attended the competition in 2010 and gained a wealth of knowledge from that experience. “Besides applying what we have learned, networking skills are also a major part of this competition. I am much more prepared this year and have been able to work with our team to help them devise their strategy,” Pizzino says.
Over the course of the competition, the students participated in cases involving electronic trading, quantitative economic forecasts, analyzing qualitative micro and macro data, predicting future markets, forecasting using option valuation models, and programming algorithms to generate trading profits. Much of the competition takes place in Rotman’s state of the art trading lab which contains some of the most sophisticated financial analysis software and databases.
Most teams have a faculty coach in attendance as well who serves to guide the team throughout the competition, and also had a key role in preparing them in the weeks leading up to the competition. Brockport’s Dr. Sandeep Singh, the current faculty advisor for the Finance club attended with our students. He sees immeasurable value for students particularly the opportunity to interact with students from around the world. He says, “I think their self confidence significantly improves as a result of participating in the competition. I feel that teamwork and the ability to think on their feet are the skills that benefit students the most as a result of participation.”
This is Singh’s six trip in seven years to participate in the competition. “There is a significant time commitment involved on the part of team members and myself. In my view, the benefits students gain from this experience far exceeds the time put in. There is no other venue like this where my students can get exposed to the global nature of finance.”
While the students received some external funding for their registration costs, they paid their own travel expenses. The extra financial burden is definitely worth it though. Says Pizzino, “The contacts you can make at the competition are invaluable. It definitely is an investment in our education and future.”