Bauer School of Business students took six of the top 10 spots in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Commodity Trading Challenge, a competition mimicking the world of energy trading on March 31.
The two-phase competition, organized by the Finance Association at the University of Houston, gives students the opportunity to simulate the CME’s trading floor, using hand gestures, shouting trading terminology and reacting to the fast-paced energy market.
The second portion of the competition gives participants the opportunity to meet with representatives of the industry.
“We put this event together so that students who are interested in commodity, options and equity trading industry can have a hands on feeling and meet companies and professionals who are currently in this industry,” said Yvette Cruz, finance and entrepreneurship junior and corporate relations officer for the association.
The first phase of the competition gives teams the opportunity to experience real-time electronic trading, and the second phase uses the open-outcry method commodity traders use when executing orders on their clients’ behalf.
“I love it because while getting to compete, you also get to network with traders and listen to what their job is really like behind all the glamour and money,” said Blythe Perez, pre-business sophomore and the third-place winner.
The competition judges participants based on how well they execute their clients’ orders and also awards scholarships.
“I personally met representatives from OTC Global Holding, Topstep Traders, Flow Traders, Shell, CME group (and) BP,” Cruz said.
“I learned about the different jobs in the commodity industries.”
Cruz, who competed in 2011 but was not able to this year because of her position, is already planning to compete next year.
“I love the experience,” Cruz said.
“I remember the feeling of waiting to hear your trader name and hear that you pass to the next and final round.”
Sameed Gagai, Alyson Quintana, Ben Barr, Pete Watson and Lateef Frierson were the other five Bauer students who placed in the top 10. The members chosen to compete began practicing in the fall.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience,” said Perez who is also the treasurer of the Finance Association.
“When can you say you hung out with traders of the New York Stock Exchange?”