Stories about UCIB

The College and Career Advancement are thrilled to announce that the Financial Markets Program, one of the College’s signature pre-professional programs, will be able to continue supporting future generations of students thanks to a very generous $1 million gift from Donald R. Wilson, Jr., AB ’88, University Trustee, and founder and CEO of principal trading firm DRW. The College launched the Financial Markets Program to give students the tools and experience necessary to apply their UChicago education to a career in trading, financial modeling, or quantitative analysis. 

“The Financial Markets Program offers today’s students a unique and meaningful opportunity to explore careers in the financial markets,” said Don Wilson. “The program’s focus on the quantitative and technical skills sought after by industry employers ensures that students are well prepared to enter these careers and contribute positively to the markets. I’m proud to support the Financial Markets Program, and I look forward to continuing our firm’s partnership with this important program.”

 “The Financial Markets Program plays an absolutely crucial role in helping our students apply their skills in quantitative analysis and critical thinking that they learn from the College’s Core Curriculum to a professional career,” said John W. Boyer, Dean of the College and Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History. “Because of Don Wilson’s generosity, this vital resource will benefit students for generations to come.”

“Don Wilson has made it possible for the next generation of College students to become leaders in quantitative finance,” said Meredith Daw, executive director of Career Advancement.  “The College and Career Advancement are profoundly grateful for his generous support for our students and the Financial Markets Program.”

The program has played a key role in responding to growing employer demand for students who have strong skills in both critical thinking and technical analysis. Financial Markets Program participants enjoy tremendous success in recruiting. The 2015-2016 academic year marked the 6th consecutive year with every student receiving a full-time job offer upon graduation. 

College students admitted into the program gain exposure to careers in quantitative finance through specialized courses, practical workshops, domestic and international treks, and connections with industry leaders.  According to Alexei Iouchkov, a Class of 2013 Financial Markets Program alumnus now employed at IMC Financial Markets, “The Financial Markets Program gave me a unique perspective on both the Chicago prop trading landscape, as well as the myriad trading philosophies that coexist in the field. Having the opportunity to visit and interact with professionals in the more quantitative areas of finance also allowed me to identify areas where my strong technical background could serve as a valuable asset.”

In addition to workshops and coursework, the program gives College students hands-on opportunities to practice trading and develop quantitative models. The Financial Markets Program organizes the annual Midwest Trading Competition, the nation’s primary algorithmic trading competition, challenging students to compete against top-tier schools across the nation and to engage in the trading community early on in their career.  

The competition draws interest from leading trading firms and hedge funds throughout the Midwest region, and provides competitors with hands-on experience in algorithmic trading.  It also serves as a great networking platform for both students and sponsoring firms. In addition to DRW’s support and strong partnership with the Financial Markets Program, the firm has also been engaged with the Trading Competition since its launch in 2013. Each year, the winning team is treated to a celebratory dinner with DRW traders and recruiters immediately following the competition. 

As students gain experience in the industry, they give back to the program by providing peer-to-peer mentorship to younger students.  Iouchkov said, “In my last year of the program, I leaned on my internship experience in trading to co-found UChicago's Midwestern Trading Competition and continued my involvement in the program post-graduation by mentoring the students in charge of designing the cases. Overall, I feel that the Financial Markets Program was instrumental in supplementing UChicago's strong academic program with practical industry experience and established a solid foundation for my career.”

With the continued partnership and support of Don Wilson and DRW, the Financial Markets Program will be able to support College students interested in trading for years to come. The College and Career Advancement thank Mr. Wilson for his generosity.

Thanks to a generous gift from University Trustee John W. Rogers, Jr., LAB’76, the College and Career Advancement will pilot the Ariel Investments Internship Program in Finance, an extensive series of new programming that will be made available for underresourced students interested in finance. Mr. Rogers is the chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments, an investment firm headquartered in Chicago.

Mr. Rogers’s gift will support career advising, professional development workshops, networking opportunities, and funded internships for College students. A major goal of the program will be to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to pursue a career in finance.

“Many groups have historically been underrepresented in the finance industry,” Mr. Rogers said, “and the University of Chicago has a large population of bright, talented, and diverse students who can make a difference in the field. I am very proud to support this initiative and help students achieve their career goals.”

“The University of Chicago has a deep commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity,” said Meredith Daw, executive director of Career Advancement. “Because of John Rogers’s gift, more students than ever will be able to go after their dreams and find meaningful careers, regardless of their background. The College and Career Advancement are incredibly grateful to Mr. Rogers for his generosity.”

The Ariel Investments Internship Program in Finance will provide a comprehensive career preparation curriculum, including:

  • One-on-one career advising with an industry expert
  • Workshops on core professional skills such as resume writing, interviewing, and networking
  • Seminars on key finance topics, including financial statement analysis and asset valuation
  • Site visits with employers in the finance and investing industry
  • Networking events with diverse alumni working in finance
  • Internships at nonprofits that manage endowments and investment portfolios

The College and Career Advancement thank Mr. Rogers for this generous gift and look forward to launching these new resources.

Career Advancement is pleased to announce that University Trustee Byron D. Trott, AB’81, MBA’82, and his wife Tina Trott have made a generous gift to endow the UChicago Careers in Business Program, which will be renamed the Trott Business Program. Byron Trott is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of merchant bank BDT & Company.

Launched in 2006 with the support of Byron and Tina Trott and other generous donors as Chicago Careers in Business (CCIB), the Trott Business Program has ignited a transformation in student outcomes: each year, students in the program graduate with post-graduation placement rates at or near 100%. The program has achieved these remarkable results by expanding the career resources available to all students, strengthening employer relations and development, and increasing alumni connections and engagement with UChicago. 

The Trott Business Program builds on UChicago’s world-class liberal arts foundation to give students a competitive edge in their professional development and recruiting outcomes. Designed in collaboration with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, program activities support students who aspire to careers in a wide range of business fields, including investment banking, asset management, private equity, sales and trading, consulting, corporate, marketing, and advertising.

The program recently admitted its 10th program cohort, the Class of 2019, and continues to experience high student interest in admission to the program.  The Trott Business Program also has a growing network of 600 alumni, a number that is on pace to increase to 1,000 in three years. 

The impact of the Trott Business Program extends far beyond the community of students admitted to the program. Participants have contributed to an increasing student focus on business career exploration, skill development, and the job and internship recruiting process even among their non-member peers.  The past 10 years have seen not only increased interest in the Trott Business Program, but also growth in student engagement with Career Advancement, the number and variety of business-focused student organizations, and interest in coursework at Chicago Booth, all contributing to stronger student outcomes upon graduation.

With this generous gift from Byron and Tina Trott, the College and Career Advancement will be able to continue the legacy created by their initial support for the program and promote the journey of a worldwide network of future business leaders. 

UChicago undergraduates triumphed at this year’s 4th Annual UChicago Midwest Trading Competition, held in Hyde Park at the Chicago Innovation Exchange. UChicago teammates Frank Luan, Zhen Lin, Daisy Ding, and George Gui placed first overall in the competition and second in Case 1 – Cross-Listed Shares Trading. Another UChicago team, comprised of Joe Fennessey, Yuta Kakutani, Jigar Shah, and Abhimanyu Deora, tied for second place with the team from Amherst in Case 3 – Options Market-Making.

The competition is one of the signature events hosted by the UChicago Careers in Business Program, a three-year pre-professional program for undergraduates interested in pursuing business. Key tenets of each UCIB experience include engaging with like-minded students to build business and industry knowledge, strengthening professional skills, and learning best practices to support internship and full-time recruiting goals. Program participants go on to pursue careers in a wide range of business fields including (but not limited to) investment banking, consulting, private equity, retail, marketing, advertising, and sales & trading.

The trading competition, as well as the UCIB program at large, provides students with hands-on experience and networking opportunities with major players in the international business world. “It’s an amazing opportunity for students,” said Kim Picciola, associate director of UChicago Careers in Business. Not only do students get “hands-on experience in creating algorithms” that can make trading decisions, Picciola says, but they spend the weekend networking with executives from elite financial services firms who sponsor the event; the sponsors, in turn, get to meet the next generation of quantitative finance professionals.

And the students are eager to compete; this year’s competition proved so popular that entries were limited to 100 students. Participants hailed from New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Cornell University, Rice University, and the University of Southern California, in addition to the University of Chicago students.

UCIB 3rd and 4th year students wrote this year’s three trading cases featuring Cross-Listed Shares Trading, Algorithmic Sales & Trading, and Options Market-Making. Participants received the cases prior to the competition and were instructed to develop algorithms using Java to make automated trading decisions. The cases test not only technical programming skills, but also the students’ ability to adjust their prototypes based on how the algorithm performs on the day of the competition. Students also participated in a Crude Oil Trading Simulation conducted by BP. 

As the nation’s primary algorithmic trading competition, this event is a catalyst for connecting quantitatively focused students with premier financial services firms. This year, 16 firms provided sponsorship support, including Options City, who provides the trading platform and engineering support necessary for the algorithmic trading; DRW Trading, which hosted a post-competition dinner for the top three finishing teams and the first place winners of each case; Citadel, which hosted a networking event for all participants at Lucky Strike Lanes; IMC Financial Markets, which hosted a Networking Reception at its Willis Tower office; and Optiver, which kicked off the Friday networking events with a trading immersion session at their office. Program leaders attribute sponsorship success to the talented participants who possess the unique combination of financial acumen and coding skills which are critical in today’s increasingly algorithmic trading environment. Many sponsors commented on the extremely high caliber of the team participants, and the value of being able to interact with such a large population of these students at one event.  Several participants commented throughout the day on the competition’s innovative nature as well as the unique opportunity to network with so many elite financial firms.

This past spring, twenty one students from the   UChicago Careers in Business (UCIB) and UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets (UCIB: FM) Programs visited J.P. Morgan’s Chicago Sales & Trading Office.  Students were welcomed by a handful of members from the firm’s Fixed-Income group.  Kicking off the visit, Anthony Farias (AB’13), Analyst, and Cathy Frank (MBA’00), Managing Director, presented to the students on why J.P. Morgan is such a successful company and enlightened the students on the culture at the firm. 

 After enjoying a presentation about the firm’s structure, students had the opportunity to participate in a lunch panel with several J.P. Morgan representatives and hear about various roles in the firm’s Sales & Trading Division including Credit Sales, FX Corporate Derivatives Sales, Securitized Product Syndications, and Credit Trading.  During the Q&A, students learned the importance of ensuring client satisfaction and networking with colleagues, and received tips on how to navigate the interview process.  Additionally, students were able to tour the trading floor. 

 “The best means of learning is through experience. The treks offered by UCIB [Career Advancement] are a great way for students to do just that. The recent visit to J.P. Morgan provided students with the unique opportunity to learn more about what sales and trading is like at an investment bank.  As a student, deciding on what one wants to do full-time can be daunting. Experiencing the day-to-day first-hand and asking questions to those from a diverse array of backgrounds is a phenomenal way to help students in this decision-making process”, said Farias, J.P. Morgan Analyst and former UCIB member. 

 This visit marked the first time UChicago students were able to tour the Chicago offices’ Sales & Trading Desk and additional visits are in the works. 

 “The site visit gave me a far more detailed idea of the specific roles available to me at J.P. Morgan and across the financial sector, while illustrating the fact that I could have an immensely diverse and constantly changing career within the firm. I walked away from the visit even more excited to start an internship this summer in J.P Morgan's Sales & Trading division,” said Jarnickae Wilson (AB’17), current UCIB: FM Member and incoming Sales & Trading Summer Analyst at J.P. Morgan.

Students interested in the financial markets can apply to the UCIB: FM Program this summer by logging on Chicago Careers Connection and searching for job # 55010.  Applications re-open on July 6th.  For more information about the program, please visit the UCIB webpage.

Career Advancement offers over 40 opportunities per year for students to participate in treks and site visits. More information about the trek program, including upcoming locations, travel assistance, and the application process is available here.

The University of Chicago and UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets (UCIB: FM) program hosted the 3rd Annual UChicago Midwest Trading Competition on April 11th at the recently opened Chicago Innovation Exchange. As the nation’s primary algorithmic trading competition, the UChicago Midwest Trading Competition—powered by OptionsCity—serves as an opportunity for quantitatively driven students interested in financial markets to connect with premier financial services firms in the Chicago area. This year, 80 students from many institutions across the country traveled to compete here in Hyde Park.  A team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top prize, while a Dartmouth team took second and a Carnegie Mellon team took third.

For many students, the Midwest Trading Competition is an incredible opportunity for career development and growth. “What it has done for me is that exposure.  I had never done anything even remotely related to algorithmic trading before, so this is sort of the first foray,” Jarnickae Wilson, AB’17 said. Over the course of the competition, Wilson learned that he enjoys algorithmic trading. “Now that I know what it entails, what it’s about, I realize that it’s something that I enjoy and am intensely curious about.”

“What makes this competition unique is that it incorporates technical ability and programming with knowledge of and passion for the financial markets.  OptionsCity’s platform allows us to give students a glimpse into today’s trading industry.  The event is also a terrific networking opportunity and showcases the University of Chicago and the Financial Markets program,” said UCIB: FM Program Director Jesse Meyer (AB’ 07). 

This year, 16 firms provided financial support for the competition. IMC Financial Markets kicked off the event by hosting a networking reception on Friday, April 10th.  During the competition, students had the opportunity to network with sponsoring firms.  Additionally, they heard from Optiver US CEO Sebastiaan Koeling, received a presentation from DRW Trading Partner Fred Schuster, and listened to a lunch panel with representatives from Optiver, DRW Trading, Eurex, and OptionsCity.  The event culminated with the Citadel Awards Presentation and Reception.  

Many firms sponsor the competition for the opportunity to interact with a large population of students at one event, and this year many sponsors commented on the high caliber participants and gave praise to the Chicago Innovation Exchange. Our full list of sponsors includes:

  • OptionsCity
  • DRW Trading
  • IMC Financial Markets
  • Optiver
  • Citadel
  • Eurex
  • BP Trading
  • Belvedere Trading
  • Akuna Capital
  • 3Red Group
  • Flow Traders
  • Wolverine
  • The CME Group
  • SBB Research Group
  • Spot Trading
  • TransMarket Group

Congratulations to the winning teams from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth, and Carnegie Mellon and to all of our participants. 

Started in 1948, the 57th Street Art Fair is a Hyde Park institution. Over 200 exhibitors take over the area during the first weekend of every June. Keeping the Fair as fresh and exciting as it was in 1948 is a continual goal and this year six UChicago students were enlisted to bring a new perspective by serving as consultants.  The partnership culminated in a presentation to the 57th Street Art Fair’s board of trustees in February and several of the student’s recommendations have already being incorporated into the marketing of this year’s event.

Last winter, two of Career Advancement’s pre-professional programs, UChicago Careers in Business (UCIB) and UChicago Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media (UCIJAM), selected enthusiastic students to weigh in on solutions, in the style of a consulting project, to continue to improve the Fair. UCIJAM’s Sophia Chen (AB’16), UCIB’s Ruchi Mahadeshwar (AB’15), and Jon Lancaster (AB’15), kicked things off with a client meeting to discuss and truly understand relevant issues and areas for development at the 57th Street Art Fair. Using the information gathered at this meeting, the students drafted a professional Statement of Work (SOW) that outlined their project scope, services they could offer, and the deliverables and milestones for the project.

In October, the team added three new UCIB second-year students: Mayukh Sen, Ammar Kalimullah, and Raman Rajakannan. These fresh faces brought new excitement and perspectives to the team, performing primary and second research to support their hypothesis and ultimately to help form the final recommendations.  This research process included attending the 2014 57th Street Art Fair, interviewing visitors and artists, talking with members of the board, conducting a case study of the Hyde Park Jazz Fest, and reaching out to other non-profit boards focused on art. 

After collecting all of this research, the team formed their final recommendations – a 45 minute presentation and extensive Q&A session with the entire board of the 57th Street Art Fair. Measures from the presentation have already begun to be put in place, with the launch of a social media campaign highlighting the developments that the students recommended. Alexia Tyzna, Lead Coordinator for the Fair said that the board was, “very impressed with (the students’) work, thoughtfulness, and presentations.” The project also proved to be an excellent experience for students; Raman noted “I really enjoyed working on this project and working with the rest of the team.”

For more information on the UChicago Career in Business or UChicago Careers in Journalism, Arts and Media, please visit their websites. 

Five years ago, UChicago alumnus Kurt Kimmerling would never have expected to be where he is today, the founder of Dressometry, a shopping start-up that helps consumers navigate the online marketplace with a robust search engine specifically for dresses. Some may recognize the Kimmerling name in association with Eckhart Consulting, the strategy and management consulting RSO on campus that Kurt, his brother, and a close friend founded as undergraduates.

Graduating from the University of Chicago in 2002 with a major in Mathematics with a Specialization in Economics, Kurt later returned to Hyde Park in 2008 to earn a Masters of Science in Financial Mathematics. In his professional career, Kurt has been a quantitative management associate and fixed income trader at Bank of America, a consultant with Oliver Wyman, a market risk manager for Swiss Re, and now, the founder of Dressometry. According to Kurt, “Making the jump from finance to fashion was a big change. Even though it has been a challenge, it’s given me the confidence to not feel pigeon holed into one particular industry.”

Kurt attributes much of his professional success to the College and its many resources, including Career Advancement. Kurt is impressed with the new offerings students have access to with the UChicago Careers In pre-professional programs, which prepares students for the professional world through experiences and specialized advising. When reflecting on the resources he personally utilized, Kurt said, “On-campus recruiting is the key to finding a job after undergrad or graduate school. I wouldn’t have found my jobs with Bank of America or Oliver Wyman without [Career Advancement].”

From his various internships and coursework, Kurt developed a love and affinity for data analytics and mathematics, which are still constant tools he utilizes at Dressometry. When asked about the creation of the start-up, Kurt said, “I was working on another start-up idea, which was a movie recommender for groups (mainly because my wife and I have such a hard time picking movies together). At that time, I was working with a couple of UChicago interns, and I started to ask them questions about other industries where we could apply the same type of solutions…I didn’t realize how bad the current search capabilities were for online shopping until talking to these student.” Kurt and his company continue to work with interns at UChicago and other institutions because he believes them to be the experts in solving the problem he and the team at Dressometry are trying to solve. When asked about the future, Kurt was hesitant to commit to a long-term plan, simply stating that in the coming year, he plans to still be working on Dressometry and to be changing the online shopping experience for consumers.

Kurt has also brought current UChicago students to work on his startup giving them hands on experiences in entrepreneurship. Current third year, Joan Wang, has been working with Dressometry since her first summer consulting on the company during a project for Eckhart Consulting. Now Joan works directly for Kurt, noting, “Working with Dressometry has been a crucial part of my college experience. Kurt has been an amazing mentor, and learning about Dressometry’s philosophy has inspired me to consider working in the startup sector. I’ve learned so many transferrable skills that would help me in any career path that I could choose to pursue.

To a college student reading this article, the educational and professional paths of Kurt Kimmerling may seem like a dream achievable by only a select few. To quite the anxious souls who may need a boost of confidence, Kurt shared this advice, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so do the thing you enjoy doing. You’ll be happier and you’ll also be more successful.” 

The UCIB: Financial Markets program took 10 students to Boston this past weekend to compete in the MIT Quantitative Trading Competition.  The event featured over 100 students participating in teams of two from top universities including: MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Wellesley, Baruch, and UChicago.

Students were tasked with preparing for cases in quant open outcry, foreign exchange, pricing discovery and volatility arbitrage.  In addition to participating in the competition, the students had the opportunity to interact with some representatives from corporate sponsors including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DRW Trading, Flow Traders, JP Morgan, Belvedere Trading, D.E. Shaw, Goldman Sachs, IMC Financial Markets, Rotman Interactive Trader, Optiver, Spot Trading, Wolverine Trading, Hudson River Trading, 3Red, Akuna Capital, Element Capital, Knight Capital Group, SIG, and Tower Research Capital.

UCIB: FM Students Nikita Sachdeva and Tiantian Zhang took home third place overall.

UCIB: FM Students Bob Ni and Yuhui Pang placed first in the Quant Open Outcry case.

In addition to monetary prizes, Nikita and Tiantian attended an exclusive congratulatory dinner with DRW Trading.

University of Chicago’s office of Career Advancement, is consistently on the cutting edge of career advising for undergraduate students. Through inventive offerings for students like the UChicago Careers In pre-professional programs, and experiential opportunities like the Alumni Board of Governors Externship Program & Trek site visits, Career Advancement leads the way. Continuing this strong tradition of leadership, Career Advancement is pleased to announce a new undergraduate business program, Business Career Services (BCS).

BCS is a pre-professional program offered to all current undergraduates of the College interested in a wide variety of careers within business. Through on-campus events with employers, professional skill-building workshops, one-on-one career advising, and experiential education opportunities, students can explore different career paths and functions within business fields like consulting, marketing, investment banking, and general management.

A sister program to Career Advancements successful, UChicago Careers in Business program, BCS offers a non-selective opportunity for students interested in business. This will allow students the flexibility to attend as many or as few of BCS’ events as fit into their schedules, while still having access to business specific counseling. Program Director, Amanda Thompson shared her excitement about the launch of BCS, “There is a growing interest in business careers on campus and we realized we could do more to meet students’ needs by offering a program like BCS.”  Thompson notes, that the program has already seen successes, “By engaging students in tactical workshops related to business careers, we’re already seeing our BCS participants in impressive internship and full-time placements.”

Second year, Bruce Chi, has already benefited form his involvement with BCS. Heading into his first summer in college, Bruce was interested in acquiring an internship in investment banking. Through close work with the BCS team, Bruce perfected his resume and received an offer to intern with the Bank of Montreal. Bruce commented, “Without (BCS’) help, I could not have been accepted by such a competitive program.”

BCS is hitting the ground running with several exciting upcoming offerings to students. This December, BCS will offer their Inaugural trek to New York City. Students will have the opportunity to participate in site visits to top investment banks like Credit Suisse. Also available during the Fall Quarter, BCS will host site visits to Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust as well as Accenture. Finally, BCS is launching a new way for current students to connect with alumni. Through a series of quarterly calls with alumni, students will have the opportunity to hear first-hand about alumni career paths and insights into business careers.  

To learn more, please visit the Business Career Services section of the Career Advancement website. 

Julia Chang, Qizhen Sally He, David Kang, and Steph Mui (all AB ’14) enrolled in the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program to receive training in financial modeling, quantitative analysis, and trading. To test their skills and network with likeminded students, they competed together in the Rotman International Trading Competition, an annual conference held at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto that brings university teams from all over the world to participate in simulated trade cases.

 This was not the students’ first trading competition. They had previously been among the top-scoring teams in the Traders@MIT competition this past fall. Because of their performance at MIT, they were given the opportunity to participate in the Rotman Competition.

This past February, the team traveled to Toronto for the competition. “Toronto reminded us of Chicago,” said Chang. “It is on the waterfront and even has a lot of the same road names.  People were very friendly in Canada, and the food was amazing.”

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is an especially suitable place for the competition because of its state-of-the-art Financial Research and Trading Lab. Using the lab’s advanced technology, the competition organizers are able to present challenges that closely imitate real-world conditions and are pertinent to current market trends.

A total of 48 teams participated in the competition. Roughly 70% were MBA/Master’s student teams and 30% were undergraduate teams. The competition consisted of six trading cases:

1.     Quantitative Social Outcry: teams apply their understanding of macroeconomics to determine what effect press releases will have on the world economy given its political, economic, and market conditions reflected in the Rotman Index.

2.     Sales & Trader: teams evaluate multiple tender offers (a type of corporate takeover bid) for their profitability.

3.     Options Trading: teams attempt to generate profits by applying options strategies to trading exchange-traded funds.

4.     BP Canada Commodities: teams take on roles as producers, refiners, and traders of various oil byproducts and derivatives to test their ability to work together in a closed supply and demand market.

5.     Thomson Reuters M&A: teams track various mergers and acquisitions deals to devise risk-taking strategies for generating profit.

6.     CIBC Algorithmic Trading: teams program algorithms to manage the market impacts of trade and automate market making decisions.

“In terms of events, we did very well in the open outcry and options trading events,” said Chang.  “We developed a very competitive and aggressive strategy for open outcry at the MIT competition that translated well at Rotman. However, options trading was our single best event: we had three of four team members rank in the top 10 during the individual subheats for the open outcry: two at 2nd place and one at 6th place.”

“This competition was extremely challenging,” said Mui, “especially because it tested you on so much. It always kept me on my toes. It didn't favor just one single skill set, but really pushed you to use the strengths of your entire group.”

The team considers their training at UCIB:FM a key part of their success. “UCIB:FM was crucial in our strong preparation for the trading competition,” said Chang. “In the UCIB:FM program, we visit proprietary trading firms downtown and gain exposure to different aspects of trading.”

“Many teams I talked to had almost no experience using the trading platform,” said Mui, “and so having not only used the Rotman trading platform before in the MIT competition, but also having done many trading simulations with UCIB:FM partner firms was a huge advantage for us.”

After the competition, Rotman also sponsored a networking reception. All four of the team members had already secured summer internships, but they enjoyed meeting representatives from several banks and trading firms, getting to know the other teams, and learning more about the broader finance world.

For more information about the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program, contact UCIB Program Director Darrell Zechman at dzechman@uchicago.edu.

Written by Lucia Bower, AB’15

The student run organization Traders@MIT hosted its 5th annual Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition. Ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program, competing in teams of two, participated against students from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Baruch, Wellesley, and NYU. 

On Saturday, November 17th, ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program traveled to Boston to compete in the MIT Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition.  UChicago competed against fellow quant-minded students from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Baruch, Wellesley, and NYU. Over 90 students participated in the all-day event.. 

The competition consisted of both open-outcry and electronic trading.  Students were given case information one week ahead of the competition and were asked to build models in Excel to assist with trading decisions and link with the trading platform.  Case topics included Quantitative Open Out-Cry (Index Futures), Electronic Sales & Trading Simulation, Electronic Price Discovery, Social Open-Outcry, Electronic Non-Expiring Bonds, and Electronic Volatility Arbitrage.

While students from UChicago did not place in the top 3 overall, they did win the individual Electronic Non-Expiring Bonds trading simulation, and had top-ten results in Electronic Price Discovery, Social Open-Outcry, and Electronic Sales & Trading. Scott Mendelssohn (Class of 2014, Economics & Statistics) and Vrushank Vora (Class of 2012, Mathematics, Economics & Statistics) placed first out of fifty teams for their electronic trading case. "The trick partially to winning this competition was understanding how news affects markets and the rates of the bonds," explained Mendelssohn, " we were able to capture a lot of the overreaction of the other participants in the program and make money off of it."

The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet with like-minded students, compete against other students interested in electronic trading, and to network with prominent trading firms such as DRW, IMC Financial Markets, Tower Research, and Flow Traders. "I gained much better insights about the world of finance by interacting with these firms, and also loved the fact we were able to exchange ideas and trading strategies from students at different top caliber institutions," said Vora. This is the second consecutive year the UCIB: Financial Markets program has sponsored students, and they plan to continue the tradition next year.

UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets combines rigorous liberal arts education with hands-on, practical financial markets experience. It is a selective program that seeks to provide students interested in mathematical modeling, programming, and other quantitative topics with the tools and experience necessary to pursue a career in trading, financial modeling, or quantitative analysis. The program provides weekly workshops, technical methods, models that drive market operation, trading ethics and market regulation, and onsite experience with some of Chicago’s premier proprietary trading firms.

For more information regarding UCIB: Financial Markets, please contact Darrell Zechman.

Written by Lucia Bower, AB’15

Congratulations to third-years Shin Kim, Ameer Allaudeen, Moon Kang, and Yong Ho Roh, who spent eight weeks perfecting their analysis of a cross-border acquisition of a public company to win first-place in this elite competition.

UChicago third-year students Ameer Allaudeen, Moon Kang, Shin Kim, and Yong Ho Roh placed first at the JPMorgan Deal Competition on Monday the 22nd of October, 2012. JPMorgan asked each team to choose a public company in the consumer goods sector and advise its board of directors on a cross-border acquisition of another public company in the same sector.

The competition was open to rising juniors at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. Each team participating in the competition was asked to submit a PowerPoint presentation in the first round, and those who moved on to the second round were able to present their projects to the senior bankers of JPMorgan’s Asia Pacific offices.

It took the winning UChicago team four weeks to brainstorm ideas and to select the appropriate companies for their proposed deal. They researched various sub-sectors and companies within the consumer sector and potential transaction ideas. The team then decided to propose Fast Retailing (Uniqlo) as the acquirer of Abercrombie & Fitch. The following month was spent performing various analyses. The team looked into the companies’ public filings, newspaper articles, and earnings transcripts to find the information that was needed.

It took another four weeks to draft and finalize the presentation, which they divided into three parts: strategic analysis, valuation, and execution considerations. “I really enjoyed working closely with my teammates over the summer. Especially spending Friday nights with Shin working on financial models,” said Kang, “it took a lot of effort to make our case thorough and complete.”

A major difficulty the team members faced this summer was communicating with conflicting schedules across time zones. “Preparing for this competition was a big part of my summer.” said Kim. Communication through Skype and Google Hangout, and programs such as Dropbox and Google Documents were paramount.

The team was able to specialize the workload because of their diverse backgrounds. Some members were better at running financial models, while others were better at making presentation slides. "Booth [School of Business] classes that I have been taking through UCIB, such as Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance provided a solid foundation for our analyses," explained Kim, and Allaudeen added "Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance definitely put us in a better position to do well in this competition. The feedback we got from Professor Laura Born, UCIB Director Darrell Zechman, and Assistant Director Victoria Stroz also proved invaluable."

Experience in student clubs like The Blue Chips and Investment Banking Classics was immensely helpful to the team for building the financial models. Summer internships each team member had at various firms in the financial services industry also put things into perspective. “The competition was a chance to develop and apply my research, analysis, presentation skills, and teamwork all in tandem to tackle a highly practical problem,” said Roh of the experience.

UChicago Careers in Business (UCIB) is a selective three-year program that provides specialized instruction to those interested in attending graduate school or attaining a career in business. UCIB works in junction with University of Chicago's strong liberal arts curriculum and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to develop collaboration skills, problem solving and persuasion capabilities, and critical thinking proficiency in its members. Students like Kim, Koh, Allaudeen, and Roh are exposed to unique opportunities to interact with our world-class Economics faculty, alumni network, and in this case, top finance firms. UCIB provides mentoring, workshops, networking, and help in internship placement and entrepreneurship challenges.

For more information regarding UCIB, please contact Darrell Zechman.

Dan Moore, AB’13

When John McDonough, AB’14, first arrived at the University of Chicago, he was uncertain about both his major and his career path. An introductory economics course helped him clarify his academic and professional goals. Learning economics felt intuitive to John, and he found himself interested in it beyond the classroom.

He was still unsure, however, about how to channel this interest towards a specific career path. To further explore his options and to get field-specific training, he decided to apply to the UChicago Careers in Business program. “I still don’t know exactly what sector I want to work in post-graduation,” he said, “but UCIB has been enormously helpful in narrowing down the diversity of options and isolating opportunities that appeal to my interests and skills.”

John had the good fortune of getting an internship for the summer following his first year in the College. However, it fell through at the very end of spring quarter, and he found himself scrambling to make new plans. At a wedding soon after the end of the quarter, he happened to meet a contact from the United States Treasury and struck up a conversation with him about the state of the economy and the political climate in Washington. It turned out that the Treasury worker’s office was understaffed, and so he put John in touch with his boss to discuss the possibility of interning at the Treasury.

Two weeks later, John arrived in Washington to work at the Office of Legislative Affairs in the Treasury. This was the summer of the infamous debt ceiling negotiations, so John found his office a particularly exciting place to work. He tackled several challenging and engaging projects on both domestic and international issues. This exposure to real-life economic issues was an incredible educational experience for John.

During the summer of 2012, John returned to Washington to intern with the Council of Economic Advisers, a division of the Executive Office of the President that advises the president on current economic conditions and issues. John was exposed to global economic issues in even greater depth than during his time at the Treasury, and this experience gave him the opportunity to showcase his quantitative analytical skills.

John still doesn’t know whether he wants to go into the public or private sector, but his internship experiences and his participation in Career Advancement programming have exposed him to a variety of appealing career fields. John is currently interviewing for summer internships and is confident that he will be in a strong position for full-time recruiting during his fourth year. “Plus,” he said, “the excitement of working for the White House never really wears off.”

The University of Chicago and the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program hosted the inaugural Midwest Trading Competition. The focus of this event was algorithmic trading, with cases covering pairs trading, market making, and mathematical market modeling.

The University of Chicago and the UChicago Careers in Business Financial Markets program hosted the inaugural Midwest Trading Competition at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago on April 12-13, for graduate and undergraduate finance students from all over the country. The focus of this event was algorithmic trading, with cases covering pairs trading, market making, and mathematical market modeling. Participants included students from the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and University of Chicago. Each school was represented by a small group of 3-4 students who created algorithms in advance for the live competition at the conference.

Darrell Zechman, the Program Director at the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets (UCIB: FM) was the architect of the event. “At the MIT event in Boston I noticed that many of the sponsoring firms were based here in Chicago.  During one of the breaks we all questioned why a large-scale trading event was not being offered in Chicago – which in my opinion is the heart of the proprietary trading community.” Darrell partnered with Options City utilizing their Freeway Platform to generate and customize the various trading environments needed for the different cases created by UCIB:FM students. The event included a welcome reception, panel discussions, and information sessions from a few of the sponsors. The competition was made possible by the generous support of sponsors including DRW Trading Group, IMC Financial Markets, SBB Research Group LLC, Wolverine Trading, Spot Trading, the CME, and the CME Foundation.

The scoring of the event resulted in a graduate and undergraduate winner for each of the three cases, and overall winners of the competition. Each team won a cash prize for their outstanding achievements.  Below is a breakdown of the team standings:

·       Case 1 – Market Making Case

o   Grad Winner:  UChicago Team 3

o   Undergrad Winner:  Carnegie Mellon Team 1

·       Case 2 – Gold/Silver/ETF Pairs Trading Case

o   Grad Winner:  NONE

o    Undergrad Winner:  U Illinois Team 1

·       Case 3 – Mathematical Models of the Market

o   Grad Winner:  UChicago Team 4

o     Undergrad Winner:  UChicago Team 7

·       Overall Competition Winners

o   Grad Team Winners

§   3rd Place – Illinois Institute of Technology Team 1

§  2nd Place – UChicago Team 3

§    1st Place – UChicago Team 4

o   Undergrad Team Winners

§    2nd Place – Tie between CalTech Team 3 and UChicago Team 1

§  1st Place – CalTech Team 4

Overall the competition provided a rare experience for students to take their finance education outside of the classroom and test their knowledge through real world applications.  Students greatly enjoyed the opportunity to compete and network with trading firms and peers from other institutions. “The UChicago Midwest Trading competition is a great opportunity to compete against top college undergraduate teams, and really test your potential for the trading industry.  It is also a great opportunity to network with many top trading firms in Chicago and connect with like-minded individuals.” (California Institute of Technology)

The student run organization Traders@MIT hosted its 6th annual Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition on Saturday, November 16th. 

Ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program applied “the critical thinking skills (they’ve) developed at UChicago to real world problems,” said competitor Julia Chang AB’14.  Competing in teams of two, students participated against teams from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Baruch, Wellesley, NYU, and Boston University; overall, the UCIB: FM teams were incredibly successful. 

The competition consisted of both open-outcry and electronic trading events where students were given case information one week ahead of the competition.  They were asked to build models in Excel to assist with trading decisions and link with the trading platform.  Case topics included Quantitative Open Out-Cry (Index Futures), Electronic Sales & Trading Simulation, Electronic Price Discovery, Electronic Volatility Arbitrage, and Electronic Commodities.

Competing against 100 other quant-minded students, UChicago students took home the top two prizes.  Ben Buchheim-Jurisson and Luke Multanen won first place and Jason Phang and Runnan Yang won second place.  This marked the first time UCIB: FM teams took home the top prize; last year, teams from UChicago won several individual events as did the team of Julia Chang and Steph Mui this year, who won a title for the Commodities Electronic Simulation.  Overall winner, Buchheim-Jurisson AB’15 commented, “The competition was a great opportunity to test the trading skills and techniques I have learned through UCIB: FM (…) in a competitive environment.” 

The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded students, compete against other students interested in electronic trading, and to network with prominent trading firms such as DRW, JP Morgan, IMC Financial Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, D.E. Shaw, Chopper Trading, Spot Trading, Belvedere Trading, Wolverine Trading, SIG, Knight Capital Group, Citadel, Element Capital, and Flow Trading.

Looking ahead, Chang AB’14 explained “UChicago has a lot of momentum going forward after this big win, and we’re very excited to be hosting the UChicago Midwest Trading Competition this winter.”

UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets combines rigorous liberal arts education with hands-on, practical financial markets experience. It is a selective program that seeks to provide students interested in mathematical modeling, programming, and other quantitative topics with the tools and experience necessary to pursue a career in trading, financial modeling, or quantitative analysis. The program provides weekly workshops, technical methods, models that drive market operation, trading ethics and market regulation, and onsite experience with some of Chicago’s premier proprietary trading firms.

For more information regarding UCIB: Financial Markets, please contact Darrell Zechman.

The second annual Midwest Trading Competition, organized by UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets (UCIB:FM), and Program Director Darrell Zechman, offered students from across the country the chance to put their training to the test. Over twenty teams and more than 100 students from a diverse range of universities, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, California Institute of Technology, University of Illinois, and the University of Iowa as well as the host, the University of Chicago, joined together to test their skills in an algorithmic based trading competition. With over 17 corporate trading firms sponsoring the event and adding their expertise, the competition offered students an inside view into real life trading scenarios.

Beginning Friday, March 14th with a reception hosted by IMC Financial Markets in their downtown Chicago offices, students had the opportunity to network with other teams and the sponsors of the event. Early on Saturday morning, students arrived at UChicago's Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago to compete in a variety of case scenarios created by UCIB:FM fourth year students. Current UCIB:FM fourth year David Kang reflected on the process of writing the cases: “For the cases, each of us drew inspiration from some particular aspect of financial markets we find most interesting. For me, in light of the financial crash of 2008, I was keen on developing a case that would highlight the importance of careful risk management. This idea ultimately developed into the options portfolio case.” Students' cases highlighted algorithmic trading themes ranging from Mathematical Market Modeling factoring in Hidden Markov Model (HMM) theory, Exchange Arbitrage factoring in issues related to data latency and making decisions with incomplete information, and Options Risk Management factoring in hedging strategies and risk limits. Additionally, BP ran an energy trading simulation to give students the opportunity to experience physical commodity trading.”

At lunch, students were treated to a panel featuring senior representatives from trading firms including DRW, IMC, Optiver, SBB Research Group, OptionsCity Software and Flow Traders. The day ended with an awards ceremony where the winning teams received a cash prize as well as the opportunity to attend an exclusive dinner with DRW Trading. Reflecting on the event UCIB:FM student Hanzhi Wang commented, “Not only has this competition been an intellectually challenging event, but also a great opportunity for participants to showcase their skills in front of so many top trading firms that...sponsor the event.”

The event was powered by OptionsCity Freeway™ and supported by several organizations, including DRW Trading, IMC Financial Markets, OptionsCity Software, Belvedere Trading, British Petroleum, CME Group & CME Group Foundation, Wolverine Trading, SBB Research Group, Spot Trading, Geneva Trading, Flow Traders, Eurex, Optiver Trading, 3Red Group, Volant Trading, and Allston Trading.

For more information on the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program, please visit the website.

Written by Lucia Bower, AB’15

The student run organization Traders@MIT hosted its 5th annual Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition. Ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program, competing in teams of two, participated against students from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Baruch, Wellesley, and NYU. 

On Saturday, November 17th, ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program traveled to Boston to compete in the MIT Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition.  UChicago competed against fellow quant-minded students from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Baruch, Wellesley, and NYU. Over 90 students participated in the all-day event.. 

The competition consisted of both open-outcry and electronic trading.  Students were given case information one week ahead of the competition and were asked to build models in Excel to assist with trading decisions and link with the trading platform.  Case topics included Quantitative Open Out-Cry (Index Futures), Electronic Sales & Trading Simulation, Electronic Price Discovery, Social Open-Outcry, Electronic Non-Expiring Bonds, and Electronic Volatility Arbitrage.

While students from UChicago did not place in the top 3 overall, they did win the individual Electronic Non-Expiring Bonds trading simulation, and had top-ten results in Electronic Price Discovery, Social Open-Outcry, and Electronic Sales & Trading. Scott Mendelssohn (Class of 2014, Economics & Statistics) and Vrushank Vora (Class of 2012, Mathematics, Economics & Statistics) placed first out of fifty teams for their electronic trading case. "The trick partially to winning this competition was understanding how news affects markets and the rates of the bonds," explained Mendelssohn, " we were able to capture a lot of the overreaction of the other participants in the program and make money off of it."

The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet with like-minded students, compete against other students interested in electronic trading, and to network with prominent trading firms such as DRW, IMC Financial Markets, Tower Research, and Flow Traders. "I gained much better insights about the world of finance by interacting with these firms, and also loved the fact we were able to exchange ideas and trading strategies from students at different top caliber institutions," said Vora. This is the second consecutive year the UCIB: Financial Markets program has sponsored students, and they plan to continue the tradition next year.

UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets combines rigorous liberal arts education with hands-on, practical financial markets experience. It is a selective program that seeks to provide students interested in mathematical modeling, programming, and other quantitative topics with the tools and experience necessary to pursue a career in trading, financial modeling, or quantitative analysis. The program provides weekly workshops, technical methods, models that drive market operation, trading ethics and market regulation, and onsite experience with some of Chicago’s premier proprietary trading firms.

For more information regarding UCIB: Financial Markets, please contact Darrell Zechman.

Written by Lucia Bower, AB’15

Congratulations to third-years Shin Kim, Ameer Allaudeen, Moon Kang, and Yong Ho Roh, who spent eight weeks perfecting their analysis of a cross-border acquisition of a public company to win first-place in this elite competition.

UChicago third-year students Ameer Allaudeen, Moon Kang, Shin Kim, and Yong Ho Roh placed first at the JPMorgan Deal Competition on Monday the 22nd of October, 2012. JPMorgan asked each team to choose a public company in the consumer goods sector and advise its board of directors on a cross-border acquisition of another public company in the same sector.

The competition was open to rising juniors at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. Each team participating in the competition was asked to submit a PowerPoint presentation in the first round, and those who moved on to the second round were able to present their projects to the senior bankers of JPMorgan’s Asia Pacific offices.

It took the winning UChicago team four weeks to brainstorm ideas and to select the appropriate companies for their proposed deal. They researched various sub-sectors and companies within the consumer sector and potential transaction ideas. The team then decided to propose Fast Retailing (Uniqlo) as the acquirer of Abercrombie & Fitch. The following month was spent performing various analyses. The team looked into the companies’ public filings, newspaper articles, and earnings transcripts to find the information that was needed.

It took another four weeks to draft and finalize the presentation, which they divided into three parts: strategic analysis, valuation, and execution considerations. “I really enjoyed working closely with my teammates over the summer. Especially spending Friday nights with Shin working on financial models,” said Kang, “it took a lot of effort to make our case thorough and complete.”

A major difficulty the team members faced this summer was communicating with conflicting schedules across time zones. “Preparing for this competition was a big part of my summer.” said Kim. Communication through Skype and Google Hangout, and programs such as Dropbox and Google Documents were paramount.

The team was able to specialize the workload because of their diverse backgrounds. Some members were better at running financial models, while others were better at making presentation slides. "Booth [School of Business] classes that I have been taking through UCIB, such as Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance provided a solid foundation for our analyses," explained Kim, and Allaudeen added "Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance definitely put us in a better position to do well in this competition. The feedback we got from Professor Laura Born, UCIB Director Darrell Zechman, and Assistant Director Victoria Stroz also proved invaluable."

Experience in student clubs like The Blue Chips and Investment Banking Classics was immensely helpful to the team for building the financial models. Summer internships each team member had at various firms in the financial services industry also put things into perspective. “The competition was a chance to develop and apply my research, analysis, presentation skills, and teamwork all in tandem to tackle a highly practical problem,” said Roh of the experience.

UChicago Careers in Business (UCIB) is a selective three-year program that provides specialized instruction to those interested in attending graduate school or attaining a career in business. UCIB works in junction with University of Chicago's strong liberal arts curriculum and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to develop collaboration skills, problem solving and persuasion capabilities, and critical thinking proficiency in its members. Students like Kim, Koh, Allaudeen, and Roh are exposed to unique opportunities to interact with our world-class Economics faculty, alumni network, and in this case, top finance firms. UCIB provides mentoring, workshops, networking, and help in internship placement and entrepreneurship challenges.

For more information regarding UCIB, please contact Darrell Zechman.

The University of Chicago and the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program hosted the inaugural Midwest Trading Competition. The focus of this event was algorithmic trading, with cases covering pairs trading, market making, and mathematical market modeling.

The University of Chicago and the UChicago Careers in Business Financial Markets program hosted the inaugural Midwest Trading Competition at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago on April 12-13, for graduate and undergraduate finance students from all over the country. The focus of this event was algorithmic trading, with cases covering pairs trading, market making, and mathematical market modeling. Participants included students from the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and University of Chicago. Each school was represented by a small group of 3-4 students who created algorithms in advance for the live competition at the conference.

Darrell Zechman, the Program Director at the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets (UCIB: FM) was the architect of the event. “At the MIT event in Boston I noticed that many of the sponsoring firms were based here in Chicago.  During one of the breaks we all questioned why a large-scale trading event was not being offered in Chicago – which in my opinion is the heart of the proprietary trading community.” Darrell partnered with Options City utilizing their Freeway Platform to generate and customize the various trading environments needed for the different cases created by UCIB:FM students. The event included a welcome reception, panel discussions, and information sessions from a few of the sponsors. The competition was made possible by the generous support of sponsors including DRW Trading Group, IMC Financial Markets, SBB Research Group LLC, Wolverine Trading, Spot Trading, the CME, and the CME Foundation.

The scoring of the event resulted in a graduate and undergraduate winner for each of the three cases, and overall winners of the competition. Each team won a cash prize for their outstanding achievements.  Below is a breakdown of the team standings:

·       Case 1 – Market Making Case

o   Grad Winner:  UChicago Team 3

o   Undergrad Winner:  Carnegie Mellon Team 1

·       Case 2 – Gold/Silver/ETF Pairs Trading Case

o   Grad Winner:  NONE

o    Undergrad Winner:  U Illinois Team 1

·       Case 3 – Mathematical Models of the Market

o   Grad Winner:  UChicago Team 4

o     Undergrad Winner:  UChicago Team 7

·       Overall Competition Winners

o   Grad Team Winners

§   3rd Place – Illinois Institute of Technology Team 1

§  2nd Place – UChicago Team 3

§    1st Place – UChicago Team 4

o   Undergrad Team Winners

§    2nd Place – Tie between CalTech Team 3 and UChicago Team 1

§  1st Place – CalTech Team 4

Overall the competition provided a rare experience for students to take their finance education outside of the classroom and test their knowledge through real world applications.  Students greatly enjoyed the opportunity to compete and network with trading firms and peers from other institutions. “The UChicago Midwest Trading competition is a great opportunity to compete against top college undergraduate teams, and really test your potential for the trading industry.  It is also a great opportunity to network with many top trading firms in Chicago and connect with like-minded individuals.” (California Institute of Technology)

Julia Chang, Qizhen Sally He, David Kang, and Steph Mui (all AB ’14) enrolled in the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program to receive training in financial modeling, quantitative analysis, and trading. To test their skills and network with likeminded students, they competed together in the Rotman International Trading Competition, an annual conference held at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto that brings university teams from all over the world to participate in simulated trade cases.

 This was not the students’ first trading competition. They had previously been among the top-scoring teams in the Traders@MIT competition this past fall. Because of their performance at MIT, they were given the opportunity to participate in the Rotman Competition.

This past February, the team traveled to Toronto for the competition. “Toronto reminded us of Chicago,” said Chang. “It is on the waterfront and even has a lot of the same road names.  People were very friendly in Canada, and the food was amazing.”

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is an especially suitable place for the competition because of its state-of-the-art Financial Research and Trading Lab. Using the lab’s advanced technology, the competition organizers are able to present challenges that closely imitate real-world conditions and are pertinent to current market trends.

A total of 48 teams participated in the competition. Roughly 70% were MBA/Master’s student teams and 30% were undergraduate teams. The competition consisted of six trading cases:

1.     Quantitative Social Outcry: teams apply their understanding of macroeconomics to determine what effect press releases will have on the world economy given its political, economic, and market conditions reflected in the Rotman Index.

2.     Sales & Trader: teams evaluate multiple tender offers (a type of corporate takeover bid) for their profitability.

3.     Options Trading: teams attempt to generate profits by applying options strategies to trading exchange-traded funds.

4.     BP Canada Commodities: teams take on roles as producers, refiners, and traders of various oil byproducts and derivatives to test their ability to work together in a closed supply and demand market.

5.     Thomson Reuters M&A: teams track various mergers and acquisitions deals to devise risk-taking strategies for generating profit.

6.     CIBC Algorithmic Trading: teams program algorithms to manage the market impacts of trade and automate market making decisions.

“In terms of events, we did very well in the open outcry and options trading events,” said Chang.  “We developed a very competitive and aggressive strategy for open outcry at the MIT competition that translated well at Rotman. However, options trading was our single best event: we had three of four team members rank in the top 10 during the individual subheats for the open outcry: two at 2nd place and one at 6th place.”

“This competition was extremely challenging,” said Mui, “especially because it tested you on so much. It always kept me on my toes. It didn't favor just one single skill set, but really pushed you to use the strengths of your entire group.”

The team considers their training at UCIB:FM a key part of their success. “UCIB:FM was crucial in our strong preparation for the trading competition,” said Chang. “In the UCIB:FM program, we visit proprietary trading firms downtown and gain exposure to different aspects of trading.”

“Many teams I talked to had almost no experience using the trading platform,” said Mui, “and so having not only used the Rotman trading platform before in the MIT competition, but also having done many trading simulations with UCIB:FM partner firms was a huge advantage for us.”

After the competition, Rotman also sponsored a networking reception. All four of the team members had already secured summer internships, but they enjoyed meeting representatives from several banks and trading firms, getting to know the other teams, and learning more about the broader finance world.

For more information about the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program, contact UCIB Program Director Darrell Zechman at dzechman@uchicago.edu.

The student run organization Traders@MIT hosted its 6th annual Fall Intercollegiate Trading Competition on Saturday, November 16th. Ten students from the UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets program applied “the critical thinking skills (they’ve) developed at UChicago to real world problems,” said competitor Julia Chang AB’14.  Competing in teams of two, students participated against teams from MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Baruch, Wellesley, NYU, and Boston University; overall, the UCIB: FM teams were incredibly successful. 

The competition consisted of both open-outcry and electronic trading events where students were given case information one week ahead of the competition.  They were asked to build models in Excel to assist with trading decisions and link with the trading platform.  Case topics included Quantitative Open Out-Cry (Index Futures), Electronic Sales & Trading Simulation, Electronic Price Discovery, Electronic Volatility Arbitrage, and Electronic Commodities.

Competing against 100 other quant-minded students, UChicago students took home the top two prizes.  Ben Buchheim-Jurisson and Luke Multanen won first place and Jason Phang and Runnan Yang won second place.  This marked the first time UCIB: FM teams took home the top prize; last year, teams from UChicago won several individual events as did the team of Julia Chang and Steph Mui this year, who won a title for the Commodities Electronic Simulation.  Overall winner, Buchheim-Jurisson AB’15 commented, “The competition was a great opportunity to test the trading skills and techniques I have learned through UCIB: FM (…) in a competitive environment.” 

The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded students, compete against other students interested in electronic trading, and to network with prominent trading firms such as DRW, JP Morgan, IMC Financial Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, D.E. Shaw, Chopper Trading, Spot Trading, Belvedere Trading, Wolverine Trading, SIG, Knight Capital Group, Citadel, Element Capital, and Flow Trading.

Looking ahead, Chang AB’14 explained “UChicago has a lot of momentum going forward after this big win, and we’re very excited to be hosting the UChicago Midwest Trading Competition this winter.”

UChicago Careers in Business: Financial Markets combines rigorous liberal arts education with hands-on, practical financial markets experience. It is a selective program that seeks to provide students interested in mathematical modeling, programming, and other quantitative topics with the tools and experience necessary to pursue a career in trading, financial modeling, or quantitative analysis. The program provides weekly workshops, technical methods, models that drive market operation, trading ethics and market regulation, and onsite experience with some of Chicago’s premier proprietary trading firms.

For more information regarding UCIB: Financial Markets, please contact Darrell Zechman.

In connection with the announcement of the Engineering minor at the Institute for Molecular Engineering, UChicago careers in Science and Technology will now include Engineering and Math

Making a welcome introduction into the rigor of the UChicago liberal arts education, Dean John D. Boyer announced Thursday the addition of a molecular engineering minor to the College’s programs of study.  In a joint announcement with the Institute of Molecular Engineering (IME) Founding Priztker Director, Matthew Tirrell, the unveiling of the new minor marked a transition in the college and will be an added attraction for prospective students, current students, and faculty.  Tirrell noted that, “[The new minor] is very exciting for faculty because it will add a fresh component to education” here at the university.   Complementing the IME’s efforts to support budding engineers, Career Advancement is excited to announce that the UChicago Careers in Science and Technology is adding Engineering and Math to its portfolio. With this addition, UCISTEM will now cater to a wider range of students and in turn, broaden the presentations and skill building workshops that it offers.

UCISTEM is a pre-professional program/track offered by Career Advancement and is run by Senior Associate Director Andrea Dieckmann. As the program’s director, Dieckmann helps undergraduates explore, prepare for, and obtain careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. “We are very excited about the new addition,” Dieckmann commented. “IME and UCISTEM have worked together in the past collaborating on workshops for the students and now with the announcement of a new minor and the growing department, we will have the opportunity to have more professors and researchers come in to talk about the research they are doing as well as help mentor students throughout their professional development.”

In a recent interview, Tirrell spoke of his ongoing research in IME labs, and his work with undergraduate students. “Professors [Juan] de Pablo, [Paul] Nealey, and I have been largely working on polymers, organic materials, with applications to new materials development, microelectronics fabrications, heath care, and in my lab, students work on developing nanoparticles that can go in the bloodstream or can be injected trans-dermally and produce some favorable diagnostic or therapeutic function.” Research projects such as these provide undergraduate students a rare perspective early in their academic careers and offer an advantage in exploring their future career path.  Emma Patchak, Class of 2016, attended UCISTEM workshops and worked as a Research Assistant with the IME. The combination of these experiences and her hard work have led her to receiving offers to continue her work in Nuclear Engineering at Argonne, the UChicago Physics Division, and the IME. “More and more students are getting involved in research,” Dieckmann noted. “IME has been great about hiring undergraduates to help in their labs. We have a strong relationship with the IME and look forward to continued growth.”

While not a major, Tirrell sees the new minor as an opportunity for undergraduate scientists to take their ideas and bring them to life as engineers. “We will be helping to bridge ideas, technology, and commerce by broadening cultural and intellectual experience in the field.” Career Advancement is enthusiastic about the growing partnership with UCISTEM and Professor Tirrell as well as others from the IME.  To learn more about Career Advancement and UCISTEM, please visit https://careeradvancement.uchicago.edu/index.