O’Malley Business Students Compete in NY College Fed Challenge

By, Katherine Heneghan, Web Editor

Seven students in the O’Malley School of Business were led to the New York Fed Challenge over the course of the summer and fall semester by professor of economics and finance, Hany Guirguis, Ph.D. The challenge involves extensive preparation and a lengthy time commitment to research macroeconomic trends.

“The New York Fed Challenge is a competition among different colleges in the Federal Reserve’s 2nd District (District of New York). We present our analysis of current and forecasted economic conditions along with our recommendations for monetary policy moving forward in a 15 minute presentation. The competition was virtual this year and videos were submitted at the beginning of October,” junior Christopher Machol said.

The Fed Challenge expands on the curriculum taught in the classrooms of De La Salle, giving students from different class levels the opportunity to gather valuable research experience and a deeper understanding of economic conditions.

“I feel like the Fed challenge goes beyond the curriculum taught in regular classes and really strengthens one’s understanding of macroeconomics that is applicable to any field of work, not just economics. This challenge taught me the importance of teamwork and cooperation with members who might not share the same opinion as you,” senior Clark Hayes said.

Guirguis has been involved with leading the Fed Challenge since 2012, and truly believes in the value in giving business students a deeper understanding of the United States economy.

“I believe the students gain significant knowledge of the US economy and monetary policy as the students get exposed to higher-level academic and practical economic analysis,” Guirguis said.

This years’ challenge looked a little bit different from years past. With the COVID-19 pandemic, students were not able to compete in person at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Instead, the group collaborated on a 15-minute presentation sent to the judges at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in early October.

While the group didn’t make it to the final round of the competition, their dedication and commitment to their research and presentation was admirable.

“Hectic preparations went down for this year’s Fed Challenge. We had online meetings with Dr. Giurguis twice a week, 2 hours each, over the summer,” sophomore Rehan Mehta said.

The intense preparation continued into the fall semester to ensure that the students were truly ready to participate in the challenge.

“When the semester started, we met on each weekday, an hour daily to discuss the developments and understand new concepts. During these meetings, we discussed the assigned readings and each member went over their summary paper. During the last two months, the preparations picked up at a real pace. The team met everyday, almost two to three hours online, and almost one to two hours in person. We discussed every new discussion, kept ourselves updated with new developments and did mock presentations almost daily,” Mehta said.

Following the submission of the final presentation to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the team of students presented their work to students and professors in the O’Malley School of Business on Nov. 11.

As for the future of the Fed Club participating in the challenge, senior Patrick Brady has high hopes beyond his time at the college.

“I hope the challenge grows in popularity among MC students,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about domestic macroeconomics in an interactive and engaging way. I also hope to see Manhattan College competing at the finals of the National Fed competition in the near future.”