MSc Finance ambassador, Kenneth, shares his experience of taking part in a trading simulation experience at The Shard during his MSc.
I am Kenneth Owasu Malle, currently studying an MSc in Finance. I come from Cameroon and speak English and French, but am looking forward to adding Spanish to my portfolio of languages following the opportunity offered by Warwick Business School to its students to learn a new language in term 3. I am a level II candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program with over five years of experience in accounting and finance and have worked with Citibank. My decision to study for a postgraduate degree in finance was motivated by my goal of changing career path into investment banking and WBS is the perfect institution to acquire the technical skills required for such a competitive industry.
Fine-tuning my trading skills
In term 1, a trading simulation was done online by a company organised by the CareersPlus team at Warwick Business School (WBS). Being my first trading experience, I found the training very helpful. A couple of months later, this same company was going to run a similar event, even more advanced and in-person at the WBS campus at The Shard in London. To fine-tune the skills I had acquired during the first simulation experience, and meeting classmates in-person to share perspectives and plans post-Warwick, I decided to sign up for the event.
On the day
We were scheduled to meet at the North entrance of WBS at 6:30am. After administrative checks and balances by members of the program team, we left for London at 7:30am arriving at The Shard at about 11am. On arrival, we were well received by the WBS team at The Shard offering refreshments before the trading simulation, followed by lunch. After lunch, we visited the 31st floor where we had a couple of drinks and had time to chat about the trading simulation experience and plans for the future. For those who had opted to return to campus on the same day, the buses left at 6pm. I however stayed in London and had a wonderful night experience.
Global Macro Trading Events
The facilitator at the event was Anthony Cheung, Director and Head of Market Analysis at the firm which ran the simulation. The focus of the simulation was on global macro trading events. We began the session with a thorough explanation of the functioning of the Federal Reserve and its influential role in global trading. We looked at the importance of interest rate, inflation, and the release of Non-Farm Payroll data in the US. These are numbers that traders around the world track with attention and in great depth.
In addition, we were also drilled on the role of geopolitics in global trading especially trade wars. We discussed in detail the event which happened in Belarus where a journalist was arrested on a flight. It was only after this event, I understood first-hand the role of Belarus in the global potash industry as well as a strategic transportation route of Russian oil to the rest of Europe. Potash is the main ingredient used in the production of fertilizers critical for farmers.
After the lecture, we simulated trading of Gold futures when Non-Farm Payroll data in the US is released, events around COVID such as success in vaccine development and increase in the number of infections. At the end of the simulation exercise, the best five macro traders were announced.
The facilitator also gave networking tips which were my greatest takeaway from the event. He stressed the importance of building long-term relationships rather than be blinded by our resolve to land a job immediately. The importance WBS places on the technical skills of its students cannot be overemphasized which gives us an edge at the end of our various programs.
To conclude, WBS has lots of activities to help students make the best out of their experience while they study. Students should not hesitate to sign up for such events when available, they are opportunities to learn a skill that might be very helpful at some point in their career.