UH Bauer Students Shout Their Way to the Top

Published on April 2, 2012

UH Bauer Claims More Than Half of Top 10 Spots at CME Open Outcry Competition

UH Bauer students had an impressive showing at this year’s CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge, claiming six of the top 10 spots.

Six students from the Finance Association at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business shouted their way to the top of the competition against students from schools across the nation this weekend during the annual CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge in Melcher Hall.

Organized by the student organization and hosted March 31 in Melcher Hall, the open outcry competition required students to test their ability to buy and sell oil contracts using the traditional trading terminology and fast-paced hand signals.

Bauer students made up more than half of the top 10, with Blythe Perez taking the third prize of $500, Sameed Gagai taking fifth place, respectively, and Alyson Quintana, Ben Barr, Pete Watson and Lateef Frierson rounding out the top 10.

“It was a long day, but I’m glad that I was able to make it through the rounds to claim the third place spot,” Perez said. “My strategy was to be the most active person in the group and to be the loudest one to fill the most orders.”

The competition is a simulation of the “open outcry” method that commodity traders employ when executing orders. Participants learn about the how markets move due to the supply and demand of a simulated economy, trading crude oil and gas futures. To determine the winners, judges will assess the students’ use of fast-paced hand signals and shouting traditional trading terminology while listening and reacting to the changes in market.

“Competitions like this give students opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the trading world,” said Yvette Cruz, corporate relations officer of the Finance Association. “It also allows students to network and establish relationships with the energy industry.”

The Results

UH Bauer student Blythe Perez, left, claimed third place at the March 31 CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge held in Melcher Hall.

  1. Brooke Weldon, Suffolk University
  2. Drew Puchot, UH-Downtown
  3. Blythe Perez, UH Bauer
  4. Zhan Li, Suffolk University
  5. Sameed Gagai, UH Bauer

Rounding out the top 10, in no particular order:

  • Alyson Quintana, UH Bauer
  • Ben Barr, UH Bauer
  • Pete Watson, UH Bauer
  • Lateef Frierson, UH Bauer
  • Max Dobrushkin, UT Dallas




By Amanda Sebesta