Open Outcry Experience: Stevens Business in Chicago

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Blog post and photos provided by Derek Mulvey ’12

The best part about studying Business at Stevens Institute of Technology is that we are surrounded by the heart of the business world.  We get so many opportunities to see how business works, and how what we learn in the classroom can be related in the real world.  On March 23rd, 2012, myself and 3 other Stevens students, Tom Rakus, Chelsea Shupe, and Ryan Bridge, got the opportunity to go to Chicago to participate in an Open Outcry Competition.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is one of the few places left in the United States where financial products are trades the “old fashion way,” yelling and screaming.  We spent the first half of the day learning about what they do at the Exchange, and what career opportunities there were for us rising students.  We got an opportunity to eat lunch with some of the professionals, and also a chance to exchange information with possible employers.

Then it came down to the competition.  As the four of us along with 96 other students from around the country listened to each and every instruction, we realized that we had gone over the majority of the information in our BT 430 Derivatives class.  We realized that we learned all about how the market move and how to trade these futures and options.

And then the competition began.  It was 25 college students at a time in the “pit” buying and selling future contracts.  Every second was filled with screaming and tearing paper.  We all had seen how electronic trading worked in previous classes, but this was the real deal.  Every round lasted about 15 minutes, and half the students were cut after each round.  Stevens was generous enough to send the four of us to Chicago, so we wanted to make it worthwhile.  All four of us finished in the top half, with myself and Chelsea Shupe finishing in the top 10 (Chelsea Shupe came in 5th place). 

It’s experiences like this that make each one of us remember that Stevens cares about our development and success inside and outside the classroom.  I can safely say that less than 1% of people will ever get to experience the rush and adrenalin that pumped through our bodies during that competition.  On behalf of all four of us, I would like to thank Professor Gousgounis for properly preparing us and taking us to Chicago, Dean Murphy for allocating the funds for us, and Stevens Institute of Technology for making it all possible.

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