How one idea engaged over 250 student teams in the first-ever Bloomberg Trading Challenge

June 9, 2017

One of the most exciting parts about being a Bloomberg employee is that anyone, anywhere in the company can propose an innovative idea and bring it to life. Through an internal discussion board, employees can submit ideas that can make an impact on Bloomberg’s business. That’s how the Bloomberg Trading Challenge (BTC) got started.

A team of Bloomberg Recruiters wanted to engage students outside of the traditional career fairs and campus events. They imagined an investment challenge that would help students gain real-world financial skills using the Bloomberg Terminal, while also learning about Bloomberg’s collaborative and data-driven culture.

After submitting the idea, Jacqui Byrnes who heads the US Business Entry-Level program, worked with colleagues in sales and recruitment to expand on the concept and a few months later, the BTC began to take shape.

The BTC emerged into an eight-week competition in which student teams used the Bloomberg Terminal to generate the strongest investment strategy and most valuable portfolio using a $10 million notional amount.  The challenge was designed to help students develop their skills in financial data analytics and view the market through the eyes of those who use the Terminal every day – such as portfolio managers, investment analysts and traders.

As this was the first-ever BTC, the recruitment and sales teams were only expecting about 30 teams to participate. But the challenge quickly took off, resulting in 266 teams competing from 81 schools across the U.S.

“The biggest beneficial gain for the participants in [the BTC] is that they got tremendous amount of exposure to the Bloomberg Terminal,” said Paras Doshi, Bloomberg Core Terminal Sales. “Students who were learning [financial analysis] in an academic fashion were able to bring that content to context in terms of how it’s applied in the real world.”

After weeks of hard work, number crunching and risk analysis – the top three teams were invited for a final round. Student finalists from the University of Massachusetts – Boston, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington traveled to Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York City to present their strategy.

Watch the video below to see which team won the first-ever Bloomberg Trading Challenge:

Interested in participating in the next BTC? Future challenges will be announced in regions around the world soon. Until then, learn how you can make your mark by exploring career opportunities at Bloomberg.