Just last night, I had the privilege of going out to dinner with my fellow National Economics Challenge (NEC) teammates, along with some of the big names in Metisetrade, Inc., in celebration of our fruitful partnership for the NEC Online Foreign Exchange Trading Challenge, a month-long affair that ended earlier this March.
MetisEtrade, as they are known, is a “financial institution providing money exchange service and online trading services on Forex and CFD in Precious Metals, US Stocks, and Oil – a first of its kind in the country.”
When all the other doors closed in terms of finding a suitable partner for the event, along came the opportunity to tie up with Metisetrade, Inc., thanks to UPSE alumnus Alex, a company that strongly values efficiency, transparency, and education when it comes to finance and investments.
And getting to converse with none other than their CEO and Marketing execs over dinner gave me insight into the operations and vision of this well-established company, that actively involves itself in partnerships such as this one. It was really refreshing to see that these people, so well-versed and respected in their industry, were able to share some of their time with us, and I saw that they genuinely value investment education, hence our partnership, and their partnerships with other top universities.
Sir Justin, their CEO, talked to us about his experiences as a student. In fact, he travelled many states before getting to New York University, where he graduated with a double-major in Film and Economics. We thought that it was an unusual combination, and so did he, but I think those two were his passions, and that was what he wound up pursuing. He also told us about how he started the company, which is a testament to his openness to new experiences. His knowledge of the Philippines was just through a friend who mentioned it to him. To his surprise, he learned that we knew how to speak good English, and costs in general were low, especially when it comes to business process outsourcing, similar to that in India.
And when the brainchild was formed, he took a short trip to the Philippines in 2006, and soon after, because of what he saw as untapped potential and a good business climate, he put up the company, and continues to run it to this day.
Of course, we had this very insightful conversation over scrumptious Korean dinner, and Sir Justin, along with his co-worker Sir Jacob, were more than happy to share with us their cultural traditions through cuisine, and we were proud to tell them all about Filipino food (and drinking), too.
Here we are, looking very happy and full! L-R: Sir Jacob, [me], NEC Convenor Ria, future NEC Convenor Cel, Ma’am Guaya, Ma’am Maureen, NEC Forex Team officer Brian, CEO Sir Justin, NEC Convenor Aris, and UPSE alumnus Alex. Photo by Cel Hilario
Overall, I’m very thankful for the whole experience of getting to be part of the team that made possible a big, far-reaching academic tournament that was only on its second year, and that we contributed in our own way a means of being able to advance economics as a discipline in itself through our other related competitions, namely the Stata® Challenge and the Monetary Policy Challenge. As for the Forex challenge, though I sadly wasn’t able to be too involved with it due to the nature of my job, I learned that it’s still possible to push for the investment-driven growth our economy badly needs, partly through education on investments that I hope can one day reach out to many more people.
And of course, let’s not forget that education, in general, is a valuable investment in itself.
To my batchmates reading this, I hope that many more of you decide to participate in the Forex challenge next year, should another NEC push through 😀 so many of our participants found it interesting, and they continue to keep their accounts to this day, so I definitely think it’s worth a shot, especially to complement our learnings in monetary economics.