Members of UMass Lowell's 2017 Federal Reserve Challenge Team Image by Courtesy

The Federal Reserve (Fed) Challenge is a college-team regional competition that focuses on macroeconomics, international economics, and monetary economics. The competition takes place at each of the twelve Federal Reserve banks every year in late October or early September.  College teams participate at their closest Federal Reserve bank. Accordingly, there is one winning team per regional Federal Reserve bank competition. These winners go on to compete at the Fed Challenge’s final, which takes place later in the fall, and is held at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in Washington, DC.

What does the Fed Challenge involve? Each team makes a presentation about current economic conditions and concludes with an economic policy recommendation for the Federal Reserve System should implement. This presentation must be highly professional, and developed as if it were to be delivered to a specialized audience. In fact, the judges of the competition are top notch professional economists selected from a variety of different fields of work, including the private sector.

Therefore, participating in the Fed Challenge is an excellent way for students to enhance their applied knowledge of economics, and, critically, a means through which students develop data-analysis skills and  presentation skills. These skills are critical for job interviews and job performance: no matter what type of job or career a person has, one of the most important things for success is being able communicate in a clear and concise fashion the output and relevance of their work.