The Pace Federal Reserve Challenge Team are national champs (again!)


Christian Halstead

The University’s Federal Reserve Challenge Team won the national competition in its entirety on December 1, 2017. This is third time the Team has won in the past four years, beating out Ivy-competitors Harvard and Princeton, among others. The challenge consists of teams of students from across the country who are prompted to analyze the macro-economy, including inflation rates, interest rates, and growth in the gross domestic product, and from there present the United States Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. with a set of monetary policy suggestions. This, “prestigious competition [is intended] to test[] students’ understanding of the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System,” according to the University’s press release put out the same day the Team won.


That same press release explained, “Participating teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeled on the work of the Federal Open Market Committee. Teams competing in the finals gave presentations and answered questions for a panel of senior Federal Reserve officials.”


In wake of the Fed Challenge Team’s victory, University President Marvin Krislov said, “I am deeply proud of the Pace University team. This team’s dedication and success as well as that of their professors is a great example of the experiential learning and meaningful mentorship that is the hallmark of the Pace Path. The team members are exemplary students and their drive and determination has paid off with this great victory.”


The Fed Team consisted entirely of Economics/Business Economics students in the University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. The team members are as follows: Klejdja Qosjdja, Marina Testani, Salil Ahuja, Carly Aznavorian, Scarlett Bekus, Alexandra Bruno, and Argenys Morban; Professors Greg Colman and Mark Weinstock served as the team’s advisors.


The Federal Reserve Team’s captain, University Junior Marina Testani, spoke with the Pace Press about the big win. She explains, “ I would say it was a humbling and thrilling experience being in the room where these huge decisions are made. I was confident in our ability to do well and hearing our name called last for the first place tittle made me feel that all of the hard work we put in paid off!”


Testani continued, “I absolutely believe [the competition] already has affected my career path; I am sure that I want to do something that involves monitoring Fed decisions or directly involved with the Fed. Over the summer my internship basically felt like a real like version of Fed Team and I will be returning there this summer. Eventually I think I would love to work at the Fed in the future.”


The Team’s co-captain, University senior Klejdja Qosja also had nothing but praise for the experience. Qosja affirmed, “It was an amazing feeling seeing all of our hard work pay off. [] I’ll miss the team when I graduate, but I’m glad I’ll be leaving them with a national victory.”


Like Testani, Qosja made a point to speak on the professional opportunities the challenge has made available. She explained, “Being co-captain last year helped me secure offers for summer programs from top firms and secure a job at Goldman Sachs. I’ve gained so much knowledge and interpersonal skills and newfound appreciation for the Fed; it’s definitely a long term goal to work there one day!”


All in all, the future looks bright for the members of the University Fed Challenge Team, as well as the university as a whole. The University’s academic and professional excellence has been affirmed yet again. This truly highlights how lucrative an investment in one’s education at the University can be, given the proper time, effort, and care. Victory at the Federal Reserve Challenge is a momentous win, proving that our University’s Economics Department truly is one of the best in the nation.


Photo courtesy of Klejdja Qosjdja