Making (simulated) millions at ICMA!

In March 2017, Dan from University of Mary Washington joined us for our Study Abroad Programme Trading Room Challenge at the on-campus ICMA Centre. Read on to learn more…

When most people talk about their study abroad they talk about the places they travelled to and the sites they got to see but a great experiences from my time at the University of Reading was participating in a trading room simulation at the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading Henley Business School. The ICMA trading room is a fully functioning and equipped trading room capable of simulating the real life market and training finance students at the Henley Business School. I personally am a Business major and was super excited to see what a trading simulation would be like.

Going into the simulation I had very little experience in a trading environment but never the less couldn’t wait to give it a shot. When I got there all the participants were seated and briefly explained the rules and how the simulation would work. I remember the teacher explaining the controls saying it normally takes students over a year of classes and training to get to the trading room but you all are going to learn in 15 minutes.

The simulation worked like this. We all had a starting amount of money and no stocks. We could choose from a limited number of stocks such as Google and Morgan Stanley to buy and sell. Every 15 seconds there would be a ‘call’ from another bank asking for a buying and selling price, and based off what you enter the bank either buys or sells stocks from you. The entire market was influenced by simulated news events. There was a contest amongst the group for who could make the most money and who could make the least money.

So, after very little explanation the simulation started and we were off. The whole hour long simulation passed in a blur. It seemed to only take around 5 minutes. The entire room was dead quiet except for the sound of frantic clicking and typing.

Looking back the trading room simulation was an amazing experience. As a Business major it was cool to experience how stock trading works in a real time environment. Study abroad is not just about the experiences you know you will have by traveling and experiencing new things. It is also about the small unexpected experiences you have along the way that you will always remember.

NB: The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office would like to thank Dr Michael Smith of the ICMA Centre for facilitating this event for Study Abroad Programme students.

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