AEDE Undergraduate Students Participate in Commodity Trading Challenge

Feb. 15, 2013

How do you take the tools learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world scenarios to best prepare students for a career after college? AEDE Associate Professor Matt Roberts provides an answer to this question by engaging students to participate in the CME Group’s Commodity Trading Challenge. The Challenge enables students to apply knowledge from their studies as Agribusiness and Applied Economics undergrads to real-life commodities market trading scenarios.

AEDE students Loren Hulit, Nicholas Rettig, Cody Rine, Clint Vance and Jonathan Zucker are participating in the Challenge as an Ohio State team formed by Dr. Roberts. The students are competing with students from more than 150 colleges and universities from around the world in the four-week Challenge, which kicked off on February 12th.

“I find the Commodity Trading Challenge to be a tremendous training mechanism for real-world commodity futures trading. The skill sets and general know-how of markets and how they function will give us a feel for whether trading is something that we each have some level of skill at, and whether we can see ourselves doing this on a daily basis” notes Rettig.

The Challenge is open to students enrolled at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is designed to provide student teams of three to five students with an educational experience consistent with that of professional trading of CME Group products. The teams trade crude oil, gold and corn futures on a real-time professional trading platform.

“The students are using CQG, the same software I used when I was a broker,” said Roberts, “everything about the Challenge is real except the trades themselves.”

Through the Challenge students are given the opportunity to understand commodity market events, hone their commodities trading skills, and prepare for possible careers as traders, risk managers and brokers. They also gain perspective on how the world of commodity trading affects daily life, from the price of food and oil to the fluctuation of currencies.

On the value of the exercise Vance notes, “We actually get to put into practice what we spent a good amount of last semester on and that always makes it worthwhile. When you actually get to see this in real life instead of on a chalkboard it helps you to get a better understanding of the material and how things work.”

Rettig continues, “This experience takes material from AEDE 3123 (Grain Marketing, taught by Dr. Roberts) and AEDE 5250 (Futures and Options, taught by Dr. Carl Zulauf) and combines them into a real-world software in which we apply basic futures trading strategies learned in these classes.”

The championship round of the Challenge begins on March 3rd. The top four teams will receive a cash prize; additionally, members of the first place team will have the opportunity to interview for a paid summer internship at the CME Group’s headquarters in Chicago.

You can learn more about the Challenge here. To keep track of progress on the Challenge, please see the CME Group’s website.

February 15, 2013