Economics students at the College Fed Challenge

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Northeastern Illinois University sent 11 Economics students to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Nov. 13 to compete in the College Fed Challenge. Led by Assistant Professor Hardik Marfatia, the team of students returned from the high-profile competition with experience and motivation.

“This was the first time that Northeastern was competing at a one-to-one level with the best universities in the Midwest region,” Marfatia said. “I—and more importantly, our students—believe that the Northeastern team outperformed all the expectations that anyone can have from a debut team. The economic analysis of our team was thorough, cohesive, in-depth and innovative.”

The College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams from U.S. colleges and universities analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.

The Northeastern team was calm, prepared and determined, Economics major Zain Danani said.

“As far as strengths go, the Northeastern team had a precise presentation, which was a huge plus. Additionally, the team’s experience of presenting in class helped dearly,” Danani said. “The best part of the team’s presentation, however, was not only the inclusion but also the in-depth analysis of the financial and international markets. Two of the four teams in my room did not even touch on the subject of these markets, while three out of the four did not have any visual representation for these markets.”

Economics major Diana Beltran found the experience unforgettable and motivating.

“Participating in the challenge was a great experience for me because I took this opportunity to build connections with people who work there as well as talking to students from other schools,” she said. “It has encouraged me to keep in touch to come back again to be a part of this event in the future.”

Beltran and Danani were joined at the challenge by Nicholas Bianchi, Michael Bricci, Jonathan Constante, Nate Falk, Christian Garcia, Steven Gaski, Alejandro Saenz Valdepenas, Christopher Sousa-Nieves and Derrick Thomas.