Laurier’s economics students take home first at the Governor’s Challenge

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Five Laurier economics students were crowned victorious in the Governor’s Challenge hosted by the Bank of Canada on Feb. 16, 2019. Though this was only the fourth annual running of the event, this is the second year in a row that a team from Laurier has been victorious.

The team of Cindy McCormick, Michael Davenport, Colleen Spencer, Andrew Foran and Tanzin Kabir were the judges’ choice, due to their monetary policy advice and economic outlook for the Bank of Canada. 

They were coached by Laurier economics professors Ke Pang and Christos Shiamptanis, who coached the winning team for the previous year as well.

Laurier brought home the title last year as well, in a challenge that brings students from all over to a simulation of holding positions on the bank’s governing council, where they analyze the current and future economic situations and overall let the judges know whether they should change their key interest rate — or leave it the same.

“The Governor’s Challenge was designed to promote understanding of the role that monetary policy plays in Canada’s economy, and it gives Canadian students a learning opportunity that they might not otherwise have as part of their undergraduate program,” said Rebecca Spence, a media relations consultant for the Bank of Canada in an email statement.

Stephen S. Poloz, the governor of the Bank of Canada, personally presented the winning award to the team of Wilfrid Laurier students and respected the hard work and intelligence of these future economists.

“Over the years, we’ve heard from participants that getting to work on something experiential and applied to their fields of study, as well as working with a team to give a professional-grade presentation to senior executives from both the Bank and academia, have been standout experiences,” she concluded in the statement.

Laurier’s recommendation to the bank was to keep their interest rate the same, at 1.75 per cent, while last year Laurier’s recommendation was to raise the rate from the former 1.25 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

“We do have these big challenges for our students. These students are geared up for working in the industries, [they] prepare for over a year for these sorts of things,” said Tammy Schirle, director of the Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis. 

“Not every school may do that, but we do, so it’s a lot of hard work put in and it paid off.” 

Stephen S. Poloz, the governor of the Bank of Canada, personally presented the winning award to the team of Wilfrid Laurier students and respected the hard work and intelligence of these future economists, saying there is a place at the Bank of Canada for them to work in the future if they continue to achieve at such a high level.

In the span of a week, Laurier teams of business students claimed the title at the Governor’s Challenge in Ottawa, as well as second place at the Heavener International Case Competition in Florida, putting Wilfrid Laurier University on the map for business excellence.

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