Manhattan College Economics Team Named a Regional Finalist in Prestigious College Fed Challenge

The team presented a sophisticated model of the macroeconomics forces facing the Federal Reserve.

The Manhattan College Federal Reserve Challenge team has been named a regional finalist in the prestigious College Fed Challenge, a national competition that tests students' understanding of economic and financial conditions. The College Fed Challenge requires students to formulate a monetary policy recommendation to a panel of judges who work at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This recognition marks a significant achievement for the team and highlights the exceptional academic environment fostered by Manhattan College's O'Malley School of BusinessFed Challenge Team

The 2023 team was composed of five student presenters and advised by Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., professor of economics and finance. The students, Rehan Mehta ’24 (economics and mathematics), Theresa Donlan ’24 (accounting), Giovanni Casonato ’24 (economics), Clay Pinkham ’26 (economics and finance) and Cara Loganadhan ’26, (finance and global business), impressed the judges with their in-depth analysis of the current economic landscape and well-articulated recommendations for monetary policy. 

The team’s journey began with a meticulously crafted 15-minute presentation which they submitted to the Federal Reserve in early October and earned them a coveted spot among the top 18 teams out of more than 100 competing colleges nationwide. In November, they advanced to the semifinals, where they showcased their knowledge and critical thinking skills in a rigorous Q&A session with senior Federal Reserve officials. The team did not advance beyond the semifinals, despite a compelling performance against multiple Ivy League universities. 

"Achieving recognition as a regional finalist for the Federal Reserve Challenge is a true honor for Manhattan College and the O'Malley School of Business," said Donald Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the O'Malley School of Business. "This program demonstrates the strong relationship we foster between our faculty and students. With Dr. Guirguis' great guidance, our student team worked tirelessly to present a sophisticated model of the macroeconomic forces facing the Fed.”

The team's dedication and hard work were evident in their preparation process. They began meeting last summer and devoted countless hours to refining their presentation. The month before the challenge, the group met every day for at least three or four hours. During the week of the challenge, the team devoted themselves entirely to improving their presentation, with every meeting running more than eight hours a day. 

"The Federal Reserve Challenge has helped us understand the economy and economics in a way that will benefit us throughout our lives, whether making investments or out on a job search,” said Mehta. “We've met with people from the Federal Reserve and the networking opportunities are amazing." 

Building on this year's momentum, the team is already gearing up for next year's competition with renewed enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

 "The primary goal of the challenge is to allow undergraduate students to gain real-life experience in researching economic factors and understanding monetary policy,” said Loganadhan. “I've learned so much."

The College Fed Challenge, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is a team competition exclusively for undergraduate students. Among its goals are to  increase understanding of macroeconomics and the Federal Reserve's role in setting U.S. monetary policy and ensuring financial stability. 

Watch a recap of the 2023 Federal Reserve Challenge