***image1***FAIRFIELD, CT – When it comes to learning about investment and financial management, reading how it’s done is instructional, talking about it and examining case studies and results is useful and important, but seeing it in action is, as the MasterCard commercial says, “priceless.” Students and instructors from Sacred Heart University’s Welch College of Business were treated to a taste of priceless, real-life learning a few weeks ago, when they traveled to Wall Street in New York City for visits to Barclay’s Capital and Bloomberg.
The trip, which was sponsored by SHU and the Stamford CFA Society (SCFAS), included 17 students accompanied by SHU Professors Bridget Lyons and Rupendra Paliwal, and SCFAS member Michael Dineen. Once in Manhattan, the tours were led by recent college graduates Shawn Dooley and Tim Cook and SHU and Investment Management Program (IMP) graduate Mark Bitterman.
“This trip afforded students a unique opportunity to see first hand what analysts and traders do on a day-to-day basis,” said Bridget Lyons, professor of Finance in SHU’s John F. Welch College of Business. “Our guides were informative and able to really relate to our students, who were fully engaged, asked great questions and were thrilled by this tremendous learning opportunity. Meeting Mark, a recent IMP graduate, was an added bonus. He was able to describe his training and his current work at Bloomberg’s fixed-income group and relate his previous classroom learning and exercises into actual work experience, which made it that much more valuable for the students.”
The IMP students also met with other Bloomberg representatives to discuss Bloomberg functionality and practical aspects of how their system can be an essential tool for the daily needs of a certified financial accountant, Lyons explained. And they toured the Bloomberg TV studio and radio facilities and met and spoke with Tom Keene, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News and anchor of Bloomberg Surveillance on Bloomberg Television. Next, the group visited Barclay’s Capital for a meeting with a Barclay’s fixed-income sales person, a trader and an energy research analyst. They also had a chance to tour the Barclay’s trading floor.
“I thought the trip to Bloomberg and Barclay’s was fantastic,” said Katherine Slaughter, a SHU IMP undergraduate. “When we visited Bloomberg, we learned how to use their terminals, and I was amazed by the amount of financial information they provide. It also was good to visit Barclay’s and speak with their professionals. Each had very interesting perspectives, and it was great to learn about their careers and different career paths. This trip was very beneficial for me – I had the opportunity to visit two fantastic companies and learn what it’s like to work in the finance industry first-hand.”
That positive sentiment and experience was echoed by another student on the trip, Ashley Moore. “The trip was really great,” she said. “The Bloomberg building itself was pretty remarkable, and the offices were completely see-through, including the CEO’s office. They told us they embrace this symbol of transparency in as many areas of Bloomberg as possible because of founder Mike Bloomberg’s concern for transparent bond trading. At Barclay’s, we learned about the various positions and steps for ascending the ranks from junior positions to senior. The live trading floor was very dynamic and interesting. Overall, the trip was very influential and I appreciated this opportunity to get an inside peek at two very successful and powerful firms.”