By Matthew Radman,
International Business Editor
Since its inception in 2016, the Seton Hall chapter of the College Fed Challenge has proven to be one of the fastest growing organizations on campus. After coming up empty handed at the club’s first competition at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in New York City in 2016, the team has grown and is preparing for a push towards the national championship in December.
Hosted by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the College Fed Challenge is a yearly economics competition for undergraduate students interested in learning about the macro economy and the Fed’s role in it. Teams work hard during the fall semester putting together a presentation and proposal that are ultimately presented to Fed members at the Bank’s headquarters on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan. The Federal Reserve banks of New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Richmond, Boston, and Philadelphia all participate in giving students, from varying regions of the United States, the invaluable opportunity.
The competition was established to encourage undergraduate students to research and experience the workings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The competition is similar to the National Fed Challenge, a high school competition.
Teams research many aspects of the economy to prepare for the Fed Challenge. They gather and analyze economic indicators such as unemployment, labor market efficiency, worker productivity, demographics of the population, GDP, and inflation. These tools are used to analyze the state of the economy. Based on their findings, the teams ultimately recommend specific monetary policies to keep the economy stable.
A panel of New York Fed economists hear the presentations before grading them for their overall quality.
Half of the time is dedicated to the presentations themselves while the rest of the time is allotted to a question and answer segment that tests all presenting students’ overall economic knowledge.
The competition is very competitive, and since 2004, has been dominated by Harvard University and Northwestern University.
The universities won eight of the last thirteen contests.
Other universities have recently dethroned the economic power-schools including Pace University in 2014 and 2015, as well as Rutgers – New Brunswick in 2016. Seton Hall aims to replace this nearby university as the champions for 2017.
The club started with just four members and now boasts more than ten.
Students range from a variety of studies including Economics, Finance, and Diplomacy.
The experience is memorable for students of all backgrounds.
It requires admirable persistence to do well and helps develop research, analytical, and presentation skills.
The Fed Challenge has become one of the fastest growing and most intellectually stimulating activities on Seton Hall’s campus.
Its membership has grown dramatically since it began just a year ago.
The experience that it offers, as well as the exciting New York City environment, has grabbed the attention of many and should continue to see immense growth in the coming years.
Armed with a talented team and dedicated faculty advisors, Seton Hall’s College Fed Challenge team is ready to make a strong push towards the championship in its sophomore year.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 12th print edition.
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