Coach Spotlight: Allison Labelle

We’re gearing up for the sixth year of the Magnetar Academy Team Challenge in less than a month! Last year’s Challenge featured over 50 financial experts, who mentored teams from over 60 Chicagoland public schools. We recently spoke with first-time coach Allison LaBelle, who is a financial analyst at Magnetar Capital.


“What I like most about a career in finance is that it’s challenging. People can look at the same numbers and see very different things.” In her role, Allison creates detailed financial reports that support firm-wide financial decisions.

Allison’s passion for finance and prior experience with the Challenge influenced her desire to coach. “I’ve attended the event in the past, and the energy is always out of this world,” she told us. The Challenge lasts for two hours, where students receive $100,000 to invest in a mock portfolio. For students, the Challenge is one of the highlights of the Magnetar Academy curriculum. “Everyone is so excited to be there, and I just wanted to be part of that excitement.”

Each team will compete for a chance to earn up to $5,000 for their school. However, the prize money is far from the only benefit to participating in the Challenge, according to Allison.

“Finance impacts all our lives, regardless of whether you’re working in that area or not. It’s important for students and teachers to attend this event because it gives them some insight into how the markets work,” she said. The lessons students learn during the Challenge can have an impact on their futures. Many coaches use this opportunity to impart their wisdom not only for the competition, but for life.

“It’s important to stay informed… the markets impact our economic environment, and the more you know, the more you can be equipped to make decisions.”

Check out the video interview to learn more about Allison and her passion for finance. If you’re interested in shaping the financial future of local teens, we’re still searching for leaders to coach a team for this year’s challenge! Reach out to us at to sign up as a coach or fill out this application form!