There comes a point in a young person’s life when they discover their place in the world. This usually occurs in college where, through a series of experiences, everything comes together and their future becomes clear. Those experiences inspire a student to pursue a calling instead of simply look for a job.
Through our campus outreach program, TT CampusConnect™, we often meet students who are in that place where education becomes inspiration and leads them to their calling.
Take the case of Muneera Khambaty. Muneera is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She is currently an intern with AgResource Company, a Chicago-based commodity research and advisory firm. While at work, she mentioned that she used the TT platform in the Commodity Markets class during her freshman year at UW. She also mentioned that she participated in numerous trading competitions and events, including the TT Algo Showcase. This piqued her co-workers’ interests, and they invited me to come to their offices to see if ADL® , our visual programming tool, could help them in their research. It also gave me a chance to catch up with Muneera and see how her career plans were evolving.
Muneera’s journey began with her studies in agricultural economics at UW. While pursuing her BS in Agricultural Business Management, she was introduced to exchange-traded derivatives through Professor Sheldon Du’s Commodity Markets class. The course uses the TT platform to facilitate hedging exercises in corn and soybean production along with speculating exercises in crude oil. This provides students with a real-world experience as they learn how to manage risk using futures and options. The platform also helps students gain greater understanding of how the electronic markets pool liquidity, promote price discovery and facilitate risk management. It also enables them to better understand concepts such as price volatility, spreading and hedging. As Professor Du explains, “I am always looking for ways to increase the trading component, which is important for the students’ understanding of the markets. It’s also important for their professional futures.”
The experience made a lasting impact on Muneera. As she describes it, “Though I’ve always had a strong interest in the markets, my introduction to trading really began in Sheldon’s Commodity Markets class freshman year. Coming from a strong econ background, I became intrigued after learning the simple concepts of futures and options. My interest really started to stir after I was introduced to the TT platform, technical analysis, automatic trading and all of the possibilities that could be achieved through it.”
Muneera joined Professor Du’s commodity trading group, which expanded her use of the TT platform. “We continued using TT, but this time there was a strong emphasis on the ADL platform. That was my introduction to algorithmic trading, and I’ve been hooked ever since.” UW’s commodity trading group has participated in numerous events and trading competitions, and the students’ experiences have translated into internships and career opportunities. The team’s participation in the TT Algo Showcase proved particularly beneficial for Muneera. “One of the best parts about the Algo Showcase was meeting students from other schools and viewing their work and how it differed from ours. I think that interaction was a great learning experience and provided exposure I could never have found elsewhere.”
To supplement her experience, Muneera applied for an internship that would expand her understanding of the commodity markets. “Up to this point, my skillset was based around technical analysis–reading charts, looking at momentum indicators, etc. This made me realize that I lacked one half of the equation–the fundamentals. In order to learn more about fundamental analysis within the trading industry, I applied for an intern position at AgResource Company, a commodity research and economic consulting firm which has been around for nearly 30 years. Through AgResource, I was able to see the markets through different lenses, especially the intersection of technical and fundamental analysis. AgResource allowed me to see a global, holistic view of the trading industry, and for that I am grateful. It was at this point where I decided to make trading my mission.”
So the journey continues. As Muneera approaches the end of her studies at UW, she remains focused on her mission. It’s uncertain whether she will become a trader, a consultant or a strategist because her skills could fit any of these roles. But it’s clear that she will find her place in the capital markets world thanks in part to her involvement with the TT CampusConnect program. In Muneera’s words, “There are many things I have to thank for immersing me into the trading industry Sheldon Du’s Commodity Markets class at Madison, Trading Technologies’ drive to help students and the unparalleled knowledge I’ve gained at AgResource. I believe it was these three experiences in tandem that allowed my knowledge, passion and drive to truly cultivate.”
TT CampusConnect currently partners with more than 80 universities in 12 countries as we seek to educate the next generation of capital markets professionals. If you are interested in becoming a TT CampusConnect partner and getting free access to TT software on campus, visit the TT CampusConnect website and complete the online inquiry form.