Looking through the past few months, some of the highlights that come to mind are the connections we made at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, market simulations to test the efficient market hypothesis, the celebration of the Festival of Lights or Diwali, and our MFin Christmas Party.
The MFin programme organised a networking event at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London, where the class had the opportunity to connect with finance professionals, faculty members and MFin alumni. I truly appreciate each of the professionals and mentors who took the time to come and speak to us despite their busy schedules. Quite a few of them were even planning to go back to work after the event! I spoke to several MFin alumni who shared their experience and valuable tips on the group projects, summer activities and job applications. Their insight was valuable in helping me understand their professional backgrounds and the transitions they endured as they went from the MFin programme back into the working world.
In terms of our classwork, in our Economic Foundations of Finance Course, part of the course required us to run simulations to test the Efficient Market Hypothesis, using a market simulation program called Uptick. The first simulation we ran focused on trading bonds and the second was a simulation trading two stocks with some participants having exclusive access to analyst information. In the stock trading simulation, about a third of the students bid for exclusive analyst information. They incurred initial costs but if used correctly, those with the analyst information would be able to beat the market by going long on stocks that the analyst expect to increase in price, and going short the stocks that the analyst expect to decline in price. The results showed just that! On average, those with analyst information outperformed those without. But of course, we should expect that if everyone had access to the analyst information, the returns on average would be lower. It was intriguing to see how the market would work given the fact that the market was limited to the size of our class. Having no background in trading, I learned a great deal from the simulations and thought it was the best application of the concepts learned in class.
Beyond just the classroom, our MFin class is so diverse and each one of us loves to share our culture with one another. This November we had the chance to celebrate Diwali at Hughes Hall with the MBA class. As I entered Pfeiffer Room, I was greeted by my Hindu colleagues all beautifully dressed up in their traditional costumes — sherwani for the gentlemen and sari for the ladies. The room was vibrant with happy faces, enjoying the delicious vegetarian food catered all the way from London, the Bollywood music and the company of friends. After enjoying the food, we headed outside to light up sparklers, which looked mesmerizing in the dark. The highlight of the night definitely was the special performance by the MFin and MBA students, who cooked up an impromptu dance routine to a mix of Bollywood music! The crowd went wild and before long, everybody was “fixing lightbulbs” and “opening doors” while shaking their hips – the quintessential Bollywood move. All in all it was a great night for everyone to come together and celebrate a very special Hindu festival.
Last but not least, myself and my fellow Class Ambassador Aanchal Dhir hosted the MFin Christmas party at the Granta Pub. Our theme was a Christmas Masquerade. All my fellow classmates came dressed in their best attire, suits and ties for the gentlemen, and dresses for the ladies, with masks to add some glamour. We started the evening with a trivia game where we asked the class to shout out the name of the person that best fit the description that was given. It was wonderful to see how well we all know one other given the fact that it had only been 3 months since we first met. Trivia was followed by a game of beer pong where four teams of five competed for the winning title. Boy did it get intense! Everyone was involved in one way or another and it was fascinating to see the teamwork skills come out. After the winners were announced we had a special performance from two very talented ballroom dancers in our class. They had practiced the dance for only two days and it was perfect in every way. Our class was very impressed to say the least. The last event of the night was our Secret Santa gift opening which was a fantastic way to end the night. Looking at everyone’s smiling faces, we were all in a festive merry state. I am beyond excited to see what 2016 will reveal as we continue the MFin journey.