Students looking for experience in today’s financial market can find it right in their backyard at the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology (ECOBIT).
Tejash Patel, an MBA student and graduate assistant in the Finance and Legal Studies Department, uses the Bloomberg Terminal.
What is Bloomberg Professional?
Eberly offers the Bloomberg Professional service, an industry-grade comprehensive data-monitoring and analytical tool used to study real-time movements in global markets.
Terminal users can create and manage stock portfolios, observe markets, and see exchange rates, among other functions, for just about any market in the world, said Tejash Patel, an MBA student and graduate assistant in the Finance and Legal Studies Department, who manages the Bloomberg Professional software terminal in the lab in 322C Eberly.
Who Uses Bloomberg Professional?
The Student Managed Investment Portfolio (SMIP) uses the Bloomberg terminal to analyze various securities, Patel said. The Foundation for IUP originally provided $200,000 to begin the SMIP, according to Dr. Robert Boldin. The portfolio’s value now exceeds that amount, he said, but varies according to the market’s fluctuations. Boldin and fellow Finance professors Dr. Ibrahim Affaneh and Dr. Alan Gart act as advisers to the portfolio team members, who ultimately make the investment decisions.
Software programs similar to Bloomberg Professional exist on the market, said Patel, but only Bloomberg updates its financial statistics in real time. The numbers are updated on four computer monitors with live feeds from multiple financial sources. Translation: What is on the screen reflects what is happening in the market right now.
A major advantage of studying real-time data is that professional investment bankers and professional investment firms like Goldman Sachs use the technology to make daily financial decisions, Patel said. Meanwhile, newspapers publish what happened in the market yesterday. The software also integrates news stories about companies’ activities, which users summon with the click of a mouse.
“You don’t need this anymore,” Patel said, holding up the latest copy of a financial daily.
Additionally, both undergraduate and graduate students can gain an advantage in the job marketplace because they have the opportunity to work with the same data as industry professionals, he said.
“It really helps with the hiring process,” he said. “By the time students graduate, they know how the market works and perform better in interviews.”
The program is also interactive with Microsoft Excel, and can feed relevant, up-to-date data to a spreadsheet, which users can include in presentations or papers.
Becoming Bloomberg Certified
Students are able to become “Bloomberg certified” through the Bloomberg Essentials Online Training Program, and can add that notation under the “skills” category on their résumés. While training and testing are free, the process can be a challenge.
Prospective users must go to 322C Eberly to complete five to six hours of online training, Patel said. One must watch a series of four core videos and complete a thirty-five-question, multiple-choice test with a score of 75 percent or higher. He or she has only one option to retake the test.
Students can also communicate with other users through Instant Bloomberg, the service’s instant messaging system, according to the product’s website. Users can create chat rooms to share market information, including charts and news stories, which can be placed directly into the chat rooms.
While becoming a certified Bloomberg Professional user is not easy, it can result in immense benefits for students and faculty alike in today’s rapidly changing financial world.