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Kean University

Kean Student Teams Excel in Bloomberg Global Trading Challenge

Six students and their professor in the Bloomberg Lab at Kean's CBPM.

Members of two Kean student teams in the Bloomberg Global Business Challenge. In front row, L-R, are Supernova team members Sining Pan, Jingying Li, and captain Zixin Guo. In the back row, L-R, are members of the Kean Cougars team Jiayi Zhang, team captain Lingchen Meng, Mohammad Rizvi, and Assistant Professor Andreas Kakolyris, Ph.D., coach of both teams.

Two teams from the Kean University College of Business and Public Management (CBPM) ranked among the top 3% of competitors in the 2023 Bloomberg Global Trading Challenge. 

“Kean Cougars,” one of 13 student teams fielded by CBPM in the worldwide online trading competition, ranked no. 30 among 2,007 teams and also came in highest among entrants from New Jersey universities. 

“I am extremely proud of our students and their accomplishments,” said CBPM Dean Jin Wang, Ph.D. “This recognition in the Bloomberg Global Trading Challenge speaks volumes about the quality of education students can expect from Kean University, and the potential that our outstanding and dedicated faculty helps our students realize.”

The College earlier this year received accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, the “gold standard” of accreditation for business universities.

The 13 Kean teams faced off against students from more than 300 universities, including Columbia, New York, Cornell, Rutgers and Montclair State universities; the University of Chicago; Stevens Institute of Technology; and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

“By far, the biggest and best Global Trading Challenge we’ve ever run,” Bloomberg stated in an email to teams. The competition included 10,430 participants in 38 countries.

Competitors did simulated real-world trading, starting with a virtual $1 million, which they invested in a range of securities over five weeks, ending November 17. Kean teams competed on Bloomberg terminals in the Bloomberg Finance Lab in CBPM’s Hynes Hall. Additional teams competed from Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) in Wenzhou, China.

The second-highest ranking Kean team, “Supernova,” ranked 60th in the world. The third-highest from Kean, “The Big Short,” finished at no. 210.

Kean Assistant Professor Andreas Kakolyris, Ph.D., coached both Kean Cougars and Supernova. 

“Our college effectively equips students for careers in finance, and this ranking indicates that our students gain valuable hands-on experience on campus,” Kakolyris said. 

Four students on the two top Kean teams are women, and five of the seven students on the two teams are studying at Kean USA from WKU. 

While the field of finance is traditionally dominated by men, Kakolyris noted that CBPM’s building, Hynes Hall, boasts a replica of the “Fearless Girl” sculpture on Wall Street, which symbolizes the power of women in leadership.

“As New Jersey’s only public urban research university, known for its performance in social mobility and commitment to closing the equity gap in higher education, we are very proud of young women students doing well in finance,” Wang said.

The Kean Cougars and Supernova team members, all majoring in accounting or finance, said they enjoyed the chance to try investing in real-world circumstances with virtual money.

“It allowed me to practice my investment skills safely and was a fun challenge,” said Ronald Stefanowicz, a junior accounting major from Colonia, who said he hopes to become a CPA. He was on the Kean Cougars team.

The captain of the Cougars team, senior finance major and future entrepreneur Lingchen Meng, a student from WKU, said he “enjoyed taking risks” in the challenge.

Senior finance major Mohammad Rizvi of South Plainfield, who wants to become a financial analyst, said Kean did a great job of preparing students. 

“I feel great knowing that my team and I were able to perform better than other schools,” Rizvi said.

Zixin Guo, a student from WKU and captain of the Supernova team, is an accounting major whose goal is to become an entrepreneur.

“Participating in the Bloomberg Trading Challenge was a thrilling experience for me,” she said. “Receiving valuable advice from my mentor, Professor Andreas Kakolyris, added a significant layer of learning to the entire experience. I am grateful for the supportive environment at Kean, which played a crucial role in our success.”