News  · 

Empowering future traders with Optiver and Imperial College course

Last month, Optiver joined forces with Imperial College London to offer a unique eight-session module aimed at introducing finance and STEM students to the world of trading. This partnership underscores Optiver’s commitment to sharing industry insights, giving students from all backgrounds the opportunity to discover how their academic skills can find a place in the world of market making.

The eight-session curriculum introduced 100 students to trading, blending theoretical knowledge in lectures with practical industry skills in hands-on workshops.

The lectures, led by Optiver expert Robbert Pullen, covered essential topics like options theory, market dynamics, volatility, and financial instruments. These sessions were crucial for building a solid theoretical base in trading concepts.

In the accompanying workshops led by Quantitative Researcher Dennis van de Werken, students shifted their focus to practical application. Utilising Optibook, Optiver’s simulated trading platform, they applied the theories learned in lectures to develop and test Python trading algorithms using real-world financial data. The course culminated in a friendly competition, where students’ algorithms were put to the test against their peers.

“At university, students might learn a lot about the theoretical background of trading, but not many courses exist to teach students how to apply this theory into practice. To bridge this gap, we teach students about financial markets, financial instruments like options and trading models, but we also teach them to build their own trading algorithm”

Robbert Pullen, Optiver trainer

The course attracted students from a range of STEM disciplines, from Economics to Aeronautical Engineering, showcasing the broad applicability of these fields in trading. Alongside this academic diversity, the course also maintained a balanced gender distribution, demonstrating Optiver’s commitment to promoting an inclusive learning environment.

“It was really lovely to receive the invitation for the drop-in session, and I am really impressed by Optiver’s genuine care and dedication to promoting inclusivity in its events. This is something which really resonates with me as one of only six girls on my course studying Mathematics and Computer Science”

Student, Imperial College London

Optiver’s collaboration with academic institutions like Imperial College London plays a crucial role in providing practical industry experience alongside academic learning. This partnership not only enhances the educational journey of students but also prepares them for real-world challenges in finance and trading.

“We have students across many different faculties with different skillsets, many of them are relevant and quantitative, so applicable to sciences but also to financial services and other domains. And by having exposure to this module, they can form an opinion on if finance is for them and if this is a career they’d like to pursue”

Professor Robert Kosowski, Head of the Department of Finance, Imperial College London

Optiver extends best wishes to all students who participated in their studies and future careers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Imperial College London, and extend our gratitude to Professor Robert Kosowski for his invaluable contribution to making this course a success. Together, we’re committed to nurturing the next generation of talent in the finance and trading industry.


Related Articles