Students’ trip to New York includes visits to NASDAQ, Bloomberg Building
Junior Andrew Rhodes thought he’d have to be a finance company CEO to ever witness the NASDAQ stock exchange in person or see the Bloomberg Building first hand.
But through the efforts and connections of his Graham School of Business professors at York College of Pennsylvania, he’s already had that experience.
“The visit enhanced my love for finance and the markets,” Andrew says of his recent New York trip with 15 other York College students. “I gained tremendous insight.”
College leaders, business alumni made it happen
On campus, York College has a NASDAQ-funded trading lab and 12 Bloomberg Terminals.
“We also have top-notch industry finance software, containing a wealth of data and analytical tools most colleges don’t have,” says Dr. Pawan Madhogarhia, Ph.D., CFA, Assistant Professor of Finance
York College staff and alumni’s connections at Bloomberg and NASDAQ made the New York trip possible.
“Students got the chance to meet and ask questions of industry professionals using financial software in the real world the students use in class,” Dr. Madhogarhia says. “Students saw the resources available and felt the excitement of the financial capital of the world.”
He says leaving the school environment and learning in an unstructured way gives students a better learning experience, helping them move to the professional world, and is a focus of the Graham School of Business.
Classwork provides more real-world finance experience
While the New York trip took students to the real world, the classroom experience at York College ties directly to actual finances, too.
“With the Student Managed Fund, provided by York College’s endowment, students manage real money,” Dr. Madhogarhia says. Students invest these funds in various companies. The fund started at $250,000 in 2016 and has since grown to $310,000.
“Having this on my resume is key,” says Andrew, who’s part of the Student Managed Fund. “This prepares me for what employers want. It sets me apart. Applying these skills and being successful is more important than straight A’s.”
Internships part of the mix
York College helps students get internships, which Dr. Madhogarhia feels are important in their education.
Andrew has already had two internships. At York Traditions Bank, he worked with a secondary market manager, bundling mortgages and selling them to institutional investors.
With his career goal of being a portfolio manager for institutional clients, managing pension funds and endowments, his second internship at Emerald Asset Management in Leola, Pa., was very valuable.
“I worked as a research intern under a portfolio manager, managing about $8 billion, using financial modeling, talking to company executives, and conducting in depth research,” Andrew relates.
Whole education package, inspiring faculty key
The Student Managed Fund, access to the Bloomberg Terminal, and meaningful internships all weave a successful education for business and finance students.
“Fewer than five percent of students get to manage real money. Then, using the Bloomberg Terminal, getting to see how professionals use this technology, and talking to them about this gives me insight you can’t get from a book,” Andrew says.
He credits Graham School of Business professors such as Dr. Madhogarhia.
“He’s done so much research in the finance industry, and is so passionate about finance and investments, he inspires me to do the same,” Andrew says. “Professors here take so much pride in students’ success and are always looking to help them succeed.”
New York trip's the icing
The depth and rigor of the overall finance education at York College is what Andrew believes will set him apart when applying for jobs. But experiences such as the New York trip matter, too.
“I teach financial markets and institutions, but now students were in the actual NASDAQ. We use Bloomberg software, but now they were in the 29-story Bloomberg Building. They saw Bloomberg News in action, and got a sense of the excitement,” Dr. Madhogarhia says. “They learned how the pros talk, the different resources they use, how they work in teams.”
Both Dr. Madhogarhia and Andrew say learning about Initial Public Offerings and hearing from York College alum Jeff Hines how York Water Company got NASDAQ funding for projects was important.
But, the highlight was watching the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony live.
“We saw where ‘Mad Money with Jim Cramer’ is taped, but the coolest thing was watching a company listing its stock participate in the closing bell ceremony and feeling all the energy in the room,” Andrew says.
You definitely can’t get that from a book.