Trade Talk Blog: TT CampusConnect

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For college students decades ago, a standard exercise was to pick a number of securities, carefully roster them in a notebook and register the closing price each day throughout the semester. Information was gleaned from The Wall Street Journal, and when the dust settled, some students made money and some lost. It’s unclear if students learned much given that they read about how their portfolios performed instead of actually experiencing the market and engaging with it.

How times have changed. For the better.

Now students can experience market dynamics, not just read about them. University professors understand that students need to move beyond the classroom and actually experience what they have been studying.

carnegie mellon university

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is one example of a school that’s providing students with that real-world experience by leveraging our software through the TT CampusConnect™ program.

CMU offers both BS and master’s degrees in computational finance, a discipline that first emerged in the 1980s. Sometimes called financial engineering or quantitative finance, computational finance uses mathematics, statistics and computing to solve finance problems.

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been a TT CampusConnect partner school since 2014. Sheldon Du, an assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, uses both the X_TRADER® and TT® platforms in his Commodity Markets class to help students understand the concept of managing price risk. Read on to learn more about Professor Du, his class and how it’s preparing his students for careers in the commodity markets.

From left to right, trading team members Jackson Remer, Brad Jaeger, Carly Edge, Cory Epprecht, Sam Seid, and Professor Sheldon Du. Not pictured: Nicholas Barber and Hannah Fritsch.
From left to right, trading team members Jackson Remer, Brad Jaeger, Carly Edge, Cory Epprecht, Sam Seid, and Professor Sheldon Du. Not pictured: Nicholas Barber and Hannah Fritsch.Using real-world commodity-trading software and armed with simulated trading experience in agricultural markets, some University of Wisconsin-Madison students are finding paths to jobs after graduation.


“We prepare students by providing the knowledge of the trading software used by professionals and an understanding of how these sometimes-volatile markets work in real time,” says Sheldon Du, assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics.

Du says that the market for Agricultural Business Management majors is promising, and students’ experience with professional software platforms and hands-on simulated commodity trading makes them more attractive job candidates.

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NDSU TT CampusConnect

By Drs. William W Wilson and Frayne Olson, North Dakota State University

The job market in agriculture has been particularly robust over the past 5-10 years.¹ This is partly in response to the retrenchment that happened in many companies about 10 years ago along with the evolving demographics of many agricultural firms. There are a multitude of other reasons for this including the escalation in economies of transactions, greater risk, ethanol and energy trading (e.g., oil and electricity) that tends to attract grain traders, and, importantly, a fairly robust view of agriculture by many companies. Indeed, some firms have indicated that their growth is limited only by their inability to hire enough well-qualified individuals.

As a result of these changes, most agriculture programs in the United States have benefited with increased enrollments (although this has increased the challenges in teaching) and placements, particularly for those who are well trained.
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TT interns grab some snacks from the kitchen and socialize at the Chicago headquarters. 

I’m just now starting my second month as a summer intern at TT, and to be honest, my experience was not what I originally anticipated.

To my surprise, I walked into a corporate playground—an oxymoron filled with unlimited snacks, any and every beverage you could ever dream of, an extensive game room, and—get this—a bar. I then got to my desk, which was adorned with yet more snacks and a picture of Eric Estrada (I, as a college student, admittedly had to ask who he was) awaiting my arrival. To say I was taken aback by everything was an understatement. And I was a little uncomfortable as I was the only one in the building wearing a blazer.

This all made me a little apprehensive as I was acclimated to a more corporate environment in past internships and experiences. I honestly questioned how people got work done with so many distractions—let alone how they stayed healthy with bagels every morning and Doritos at arms reach. That is until I actually started working and met the people I would be working with.

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Rob Wherry, MBA student, and Michelle Golojuch, finance and accountancy major, track a stock on a Bloomberg terminal in DePaul’s Finance Lab. The virtual trading room contains the latest in high-tech trading, investing and finance software.
The statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in January had barely been made public before DePaul University finance student Arman Hodzic saw the reaction in the markets. Hodzic watched in real time as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the yield on the 10-year Treasury reacted to the news.

Traders and investors were responding to the Federal Reserve’s statements on monetary policy. Prior to the announcement, Hodzic and his partners, fellow undergraduate students Alex Netzel, Dhruvish Shah and Brendan Newell, used Trading Technologies ADL® (Algo Design Lab) to create an algorithm that would take long positions on the market and hopefully earn them virtual profits.

Hodzic and his team used specially engineered keyboard terminals created by Bloomberg L.P. to access real-time market data to see the pendulum-swinging Treasury yields and the S&P in vivid charts, graphs and numbers.

They waited patiently, watching the “iceberg” algorithm they created execute automatic trading actions. At the end of their trading they had a simulated $33,000 profit.

“The market was acting really wildly and we profited off that,” says Hodzic. He was one of about 40 students enrolled in a “Money and Banking” course who participated in the simulated trading event at DePaul on Jan. 28. They experienced firsthand how announcements by the FOMC, a Federal Reserve committee charged with setting monetary policy, can precipitate a flurry of investment and trading activity.
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