Students present monetary policy recommendations in College Fed Challenge

A group of Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students analyzed current economic conditions and shared their findings during the collegiate competition.

A team of Elon undergraduate students played the role of monetary policymakers in the 2019 Fifth District Regional College Fed Challenge hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Representing Elon were Bailee Castillo ’20, Zachary Heinle ’20, David Lembeck ’20, Kathryn Pierson ’20, Sarah Katherine Loos ’21 and Liam O’Connor ’22. They were mentored by Assistant Professors of Economics Vitaliy Strohush and Brandon Sheridan.

“Working on the Fed Challenge team was a great experience learning about real-life implications of both economic data as well as monetary policy,” said Lembeck, who is majoring in finance. “Working with the team was a valuable learning experience, with a lot of the work being discussion-oriented and self-directed, which was a unique experience here at Elon.”

Over the course of nine weeks, the team conducted research, analyzed current economic conditions and created monetary policy recommendations that they presented to a panel of judges on Oct. 26. Scores were based on content and analysis, responses to questions, teamwork, presentation and style.

“This experience has been incredibly formative for my college education, and has aided me in bringing my economics major to life in a real-world application,” said Pierson, an economics and sociology double major. “I think taking what you learn in the classroom and applying it to historical data, relevant news and current policies creates a well-rounded individual who can then better navigate the business world.”

“Being a member of this team has kept me up to date on the economy, and I know that I will be able to transfer the skills I have developed throughout this experience to my future finance career,” added Castillo, an economics and finance double major. “I have been asked about my participation in almost all of my internship and job interviews. Thanks to the Federal Reserve Challenge experience, I have been able to have in-depth conversations about the economy with employers, which I believe has led to me standing out against other candidates.”

Participating schools included Lenoir-Rhyne University, Guilford College, Appalachian State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington, Duke University and Wake Forest University.