With a few mouse clicks, financial news and information instantly pops up on Dan Farrell’s computer screen, where he can view real-time financial market data for companies around the globe. It’s like peering through a window on Wall Street without ever leaving the Rutgers–Camden Campus.
Farrell is among the first cohort of MBA students using the technology in the brand new Finance Lab and Center for Investment Management, an authentic trading room at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden that was dedicated in April and is being used by students for the first time this semester.In “Advanced Financial Management,” a course being taught by John Broussard, an associate professor of finance, Farrell and his nine MBA classmates are working on a corporate valuation of a real-world firm of their choice. Farrell has chosen to analyze Facebook.
“We’re taking the role of, say, an analyst who would give a recommendation to a client on whether or not a company is a buy or a sell on the market,” says Farrell, a Williamstown resident and contracting officer for the Federal Aviation Administration.
“This lab provides a forward-looking financial forecast in one click,” he says. “I can see where a company is going to grow. It’s the best information you can get and it’s right at your fingertips. It’s been fantastic.”
The new finance lab features 16 Bloomberg-certified student workstations that enable Rutgers–Camden undergraduate and graduate students to research companies, practice wealth management, gain real-world trading insight, and simulate investing and fund management.
Bloomberg is a global provider of financial market information used by financial firms 24 hours per day. The Rutgers–Camden lab provides access to breaking news, current and historical prices, financial statements, and analyst opinions.
“The Bloomberg terminals are exactly what we need, rather than plugging data from 10-K reports into a spreadsheet. It’s remarkable how much data is accessible to us,” says Bill Cunningham, a marketing professional from Deptford.
The information available to the students using the finance lab is the same used every day by professionals making informed investment and trading decisions.“The lab is invaluable in not only researching the data, but understanding it, too,” says Olga Letenko, a Delran resident who works in the marketing industry.
“It goes beyond using dated text books,” adds Jeffrey Marcoccia, a Moorestown resident who works in financial services. “In this lab, I’m getting a live look at all of the things we’re learning about and I’m able to see how it’s applied in real life. It’s added value to my education and allowed me to feel more comfortable as a professional.”
In addition to the Bloomberg workstations, students are surrounded by 12-foot and 32-foot LED stock tickers and two “market walls” that come alive with real-time stock market information flashing updates over Broussard’s shoulder as he delivers his lecture in class. Broussard calls these resources a necessity for business students today.
“We have an ambitious group of students who are driving the need to implement this kind of technology into the classroom,” Broussard says. “Students have access to data that just came out and you can see the impact it has on their education. I want them to be able to see how it happens as it happens. We want to raise Rutgers’ impact and our students’ impact on the industry by integrating this kind of knowledge into the curriculum from day one.”
Broussard is teaching MBA students in the finance lab again during the spring semester and will instruct an undergraduate business course in the lab in the fall 2014 semester.