Posted on March 6th 2018
Students take to the Trading Floor with The Brokerage
A group of Year 10 students were selected to take part in a workshop held by Social Mobility Charity 'The Brokerage’. For over two decades, the charity has been connecting young people from across London with potential employers as well as providing them with work experience opportunities and employability skills workshops. The speakers uncovered the complex mathematics behind high finance, insurance, technology and insurance roles in the city and exposed students to the assessment centre challenges faced by candidates competing for such roles.
Students were given ‘realistic’ maths questions involving catering costs, tax, chip and pin cards and most interestingly, a chance to suggest the most appropriate time to launch a product depending on projected profits. Every question was a chance for students to experience for themselves the real life applications of, among other topics, simultaneous equations, Venn diagrams, compound percentage change and two way tables. Furthermore, the open ended problem solving nature of the tasks drew on the reasoning skills which our students had been honing throughout the school’s scheme of work. Their carefully considered, clearly explained rationale was a credit to the department wide effort to improve students’ oracy in mathematical logic.
The apex of the event was the trading game. The speakers made it clear that not only was trading a real job, a variation of the simulation they would be undertaking was currently being used in assessment centers across the financial district. While keeping the excitement of the timed rounds, the speakers also kept it a learning experience, to prepare students for a possible job interview situation: At each round they took the opportunity to discuss good buys and overarching trends the students may have missed.
The room was a frenzy of quick-fire calculations, heated debates on stockbroking strategy and feverish cries of ‘Buy, buy, buy!’: The workshop had ignited a genuine passion, with the winning year 10 group, Tyrese McFarlane, Charlotte Whitear and Ashanti Haynes almost doubling their initial £20k investment and claiming the highest profit the speakers had seen so far in their school tours.