The OSTC Trading Challenge provides a unique opportunity to trade in real stocks, bonds, commodities, derivatives and foreign exchange in a virtual environment: the prices, the news and the winning and losing are real; the positions, profits and losses are imaginary. The Trading Challenge teaches students to make decisions under pressure, take calculated risks and experience the excitement of the trading floor.
Students from Cardiff University, the University of Glamorgan and the University of Brighton took part in the 2012 challenge. Each student had unlimited funds to invest during 3 months of virtual trading. The student with the highest portfolio at the closing bell won a trophy.
As players were bombarded with information from live news feeds, the pressure to build a winning portfolio created a fast-moving and exciting event.
The event was run by Sam Baker, Managing Director of the Brighton branch of OSTC, a financial trading company which operates a specialised, fast and secure trading environment in financial markets around the world. Sam started working for the company after graduating from the Brighton Business School in 2003.
Sam said: "As a Business School alumni it's been great to come back and work with the university. It's a fantastic opportunity for students to get a feel for what being a trader is like. It also gives us a window to see the students that are really interested in a career as a trader and to then offer them the opportunity to become one."
The winner of the 2012 Trading Challenge was Shahnawaz Shinwari, a second year Finance and Investment BSc(Hons) student.
Shahnawaz said: "The OSTC Trading Challenge is a great opportunity to learn from an experienced trader. I've always wanted to be a trader and winning this competition has increased my confidence and will look great on my CV."
"Sam Baker from OSTC provided some really useful insights. He talked through different trading opportunities and discussed how each scenario required a specific strategy."
The competition took place in the University's trading room. We are one of just a handful of UK universities that has a fully equipped real-time trading room which helps recreate the pressure of a trading floor.
The Trading Challenge goes global next year, with universities in Poland, Canada, India, Spain and Portugal getting involved.