The Center for Trading and Analysis of Financial Instruments, where students in the School of Business access real-time stock market information, has been renovated this year to more closely resemble a Wall Street trading room.
The Trading Room has been furnished with a new, longer stock ticker that stretches across the room and flashes stock price changes for major companies, alongside five LED screens with charts, graphs and news. This way, said Abraham Mulugetta, Dana professor of finance and international business, students can visualize what it is like to work on Wall Street. The room previously only held one data wall that displayed limited information.
The computers in the room were installed 20 years ago in the original location of the trading room in Smiddy Hall, where the business school used to reside before the Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise was built in 2007. Mulugetta said these computers had outdated technology and have been updated with faster software and more access to data so the room can display more trade options and market updates in full color.
The renovations cost a little under $109,000, said Tim Carey, associate vice president for facilities.
Mulugetta said it is crucial for students in the finance and international business department’s investment track — a series of classes in which students buy and sell stocks using money provided by the college — to experience trading with up-to-date technology and access to more information and financial updates.
“I can show you here what I am saying. Here is the information coming. Here you can see it,” he said. “Now, we are able to visualize theories.”
Senior John Allred, president of Core Trading Consultants (CTC) — a student group that uses money from the investment track to trade stocks — said the room can be intimidating.
“It can be overwhelming sometimes,” he said. “When you shut off all the lights, it looks like a spaceship.”
Allred said students can now trade stocks in an environment that is similar to that of a company where they may work in the future. He said being able to experience the new trading room puts them at an advantage to get jobs after graduation.
“You really have to show that you’ve got value,” Allred said. “Being able to walk in on day one and be able to use the equipment is absolutely huge.”
In addition to the new visual appeal of the room, the new computers allow students to use software to get updates on the market at a faster speed. Senior Brandon Stern, another member on the executive board of CTC, said he thinks that while the stock tickers and data screens are visually appealing and create a vibrant atmosphere for students, the most important piece of the renovations to the room is the fast computers.
“That’s a part that the tours can’t see,” Stern said. “You want to be updated with the markets when they change. … News will populate pretty quickly, and you can kind of know what’s going on throughout the day.”
Allred said the CTC is open to all students at the college. While he said that he was intimidated by the room as a freshman, now he said he is excited about working there while running CTC.
“I was afraid of this room when I was a freshman,” he said. “I thought that … everyone was sort of conceited and money–driven, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be a part of that.’ And here I am running the thing.”