• Business School Launches Trading Room

10/11/2012

Thanks to the joint efforts of three Sawyer Ambassadors and the Office of Technology Management, the Sawyer Business School launched a trading room this fall.

Now finance students can apply their knowledge in a simulated environment, using real data. The new facility contains more than $100,000 worth of technology and equipment, including 29 workstations, six flat-screen panels, and a stock ticker. With dual-screen displays, live data streams, and interactive software like Compustat, CRSP, StockTrak, Bloomberg, and Morningstar, students can analyze the latest stock quotes and compare currency exchange rates, just as professional traders.

The facility is designed not just as a simulated trading floor, but as a multi-purpose laboratory to complement classes in finance and other business courses, explained Praneeth Machettira, director of the Office of Technology Management.

Sawyer Ambassadors Scott Paiva, Dan Feyock, and Johanna Gaviria, volunteered to help because they saw a strong need for the facility. “We have a lot of great students here, and they need an opportunity to further refine their skills. This was the perfect opportunity for them, and it also gives them something else to put on their resumes,” said Feyock, a senior Finance and Entrepreneurship major, who is minoring in Real Estate.

Working with Machettira, the Sawyer Ambassadors researched different types of finance technology. They also asked faculty and students why the room would be an important resource.

Khi Han, chairperson and academic director of the Graduate Programs in Finance, was a major advocate. “The Trading Room simulates a real-world trading room and the activities at any of the Wall Street or large securities firms. It allows access to virtually all the data from financial markets and public companies, not only in the United States, but also in every major market and country,” he said.

The students agree that the trading room will prepare them for finance internships. “Like a lot of the students who filled out testimonials, I felt that there wasn’t a practical way to be involved in investing outside of using your own funds, and outside of a text book setting. There wasn’t any middle ground,” said Paiva, a senior Finance and Management major who recently interned at State Street.

“From a professional standpoint, it’s really helpful for students to include on a resume or say in an interview that they’ve worked with programs that real-life companies are actually using. That’s a value added for them, and it’s a value added for the company,” said Paiva.

Using the new technology will also be fun and engaging for everyone. “The trading room will make classes more interactive, interesting, and hands-on, which is more appealing to both students and professors,” said Gaviria, a senior Global Business and Management major.

Finance students are already taking classes in the new facility, and they are excited about the new space. “When I first walked in you could just hear the ‘awes’ and the ‘oh my Gods’ of all the students. They complimented on how great it looks and how well it was constructed. Overall, I think they’re very impressed,” Paiva said.

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