Rollins Students Place Sixth in Commodity Trading Challenge

April 01, 2011


For the sixth consecutive year, Rollins students have participated in the CME/NYMEX Group Commodity Trading Challenge, once again placing in the top ten. Since 2006, International Business & Economics students have competed in this fast-paced contest that gives would-be traders a real-life trading experience without using actual dollars.

This year, three Rollins teams competed against more than 160 other teams from around the world in a simulated trading free-for-all that spanned several weeks from February 16 to March 18.

While the 11 percent return over the month of trading amassed by the leading Rollins trading team may have been virtual greenbacks, the experience was nearly as thrilling and equally as enlightening had they been playing with the real thing.

“The competition was great because it was a hands-on experience,” said Scott Simon (Class of 2011). “We went head to head against well over 100 other schools and were able to invest in the market using actual news and indicators to make decisions. It was a great learning experience about the market and the pressures of life as a trader.” Simon, along with teammates Michael O'Keeffe (Class of 2011) and Stefaniya Tkach‎ (Class of 2011), placed 6th in the competition.

Associate Professor of International Business Marc Sardy encourages his students to participate in the competition, believing that few experiences could better prepare students for life in the trading world. Sardy has advised the College’s trading teams for five of the last six years. “Even though it’s fake money, the competition offers a truly authentic experience,” Sardy explains. “They learn very quickly how markets react to news and how quickly as traders they have to act on those changes. With markets trading internationally 23 hours out of each day, some of these students were making trades in the middle of the night.”

Nearly 20 percent of Rollins International Business alumni end up in a financial services related field straight out of school, so Sardy believes this sort of real-world experience has been invaluable to students as they decide which career they want to pursue. “Learning to invest is the key to taking control of one’s financial future. These are critical skills these students are learning.”   

The excitement continues in New York City this April as five students travel to the floor of the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) for the second part of the competition; open outcry commodities trading against both graduate and undergraduate students from across the country.

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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