Bloomberg Trading Room Gives UMass Boston Students a Preview of Wall Street
September 12, 2012
College of Management students have a new window into Wall Street with the addition of twelve Bloomberg trading terminals on the UMass Boston campus.
Bloomberg terminals are computers that combine news feeds, trading figures, videos, and historical data to help students understand the volatile world of the stock market. The machines are housed in the new College of Management Research Laboratory, tucked away in a soundproof room on the third floor of the Joseph P. Healey Library. The lab also includes an instructor’s terminal, turning a nondescript classroom into a high-tech financial hub.
“Bloomberg takes data from sources all over the world and puts them into one usable platform,” said Marshall Plavan, the chief investment officer of the Graduate Student Management Fund, who got a preview of the new lab last week. “This goes deeper than [free online tools like] Yahoo! Finance.”
UMass Boston acquired its first Bloomberg terminal in March 2011. Other universities in the Boston area have multiple terminals, but no other school appears to have an entire trading lab like the one in Healey Library.
Management students have already taken advantage of the new tools.
The Undergraduate Student Management Fund used the first Bloomberg terminal to best their counterparts from other UMass campuses in a real-life money management competition.
“One of the key lessons from bettering the performance of all other campuses was that most of our student money managers leveraged the College of Management’s technology room in their trading decisions,” said Arindam Bandopadhyaya, department chair of administration and finance.
Associate Professor of Finance Atreya Chakraborty said access to the Bloomberg terminals gives UMass Boston finance students an edge in a competitive job market. Banks, investment companies, and law firms in more than 160 countries use the technology, he said.
“More and more workplaces want students to be able to hit the ground running,” Chakraborty said. “It’s difficult to keep up if you don’t know the technology.”
Nathan Ostberg, an MBA student from Natick, agrees. “College of Management graduates without Bloomberg experience are like cooking school students who [have never seen] a kitchen outside a textbook.”
The research laboratory also gives students and faculty members access to the financial database Compustat, the historical stock market database CRSP (Center for Research in Security Prices), and trading software.
The room is available to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in the College of Management, including students in the college’s new PhD in business administration program. Students must complete a certification process before they can use the Bloomberg terminals.