The Ithaca College School of Business opened a Bloomberg Terminal on Feb. 15 in the college’s library to make the terminal’s resources more accessible to all students in a central location with longer hours.
According to the Bloomberg website, the Bloomberg Terminal compiles real-time financial news and data and research reports about markets, companies and industries. The terminal’s information can be used for some social and natural science fields in addition to business.
Business Librarian Jim Bondra said via email that Information Technology moved a Bloomberg Terminal from the Dorothy and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise to the library. The terminal was installed on the second floor of the library in the right corner facing the Quads.
Mejda Bahlous-Boldi, associate professor in the Department of Finance and International Business, said the college has nine Bloomberg Terminals in the School of Business’s Trading Room. Bahlous-Boldi said her students often need to work with the Bloomberg Terminals outside of class to complete long-term projects. According to the college’s website, the Trading Room is open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Finance students can receive special permission to work in the Trading Room after hours, but the Dorothy and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise closes at 11 p.m. and is not open on weekends.
Bahlous-Boldi said she recognized that the Trading Room’s hours are limited, especially during weekends and breaks, which can make it challenging for students to use the terminals.
“One student came to me who was here during the Thanksgiving week,” Bahlous-Boldi said. “He was here on campus during that whole week and couldn’t access … the Trading Room because everything was [in the Dorothy and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise]. … At that time, I said we have to find a solution for the students who want to work after hours or want to work during the weekend.”
Bahlous-Boldi said she suggested to Michael Johnson-Cramer, dean of the School of Business, that a terminal should be installed in the library, which stays open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, because it is a more accessible location with longer hours.
“It is an effort actually from us to democratize the Bloomberg Terminals and the information that is there,” Bahlous-Boldi said. “This is a very, very valuable facility that we have and it’s a very valuable platform because they give you a lot of information at any time, real-time. Anyone who’s interested in finance should be able to access and get the information at any time, day or night.”
Senior Aaron Isenberg, a business administration major with a finance concentration, said he used Bloomberg Terminals in courses he took as a first-year. Isenberg said that while he would prefer to use the terminals in the Trading Room because it is a collaborative environment, the terminal in the library could be very helpful for first-year students.
“The hours [at the library] are open later, it’s more centralized, easier for especially freshmen to access,” Isenberg said. “As a freshman or sophomore, I would definitely consider going to the library instead if you just need to look something up real quick or just do something fast and easy. You could do it in the library instead of having to walk all the way down here.”
Bondra said he reviewed other colleges’ Bloomberg guides to compile an online guide on the library website to help students use the terminal. Bondra said his office is next to the terminal and he is available to help students with further questions.
Bahlous-Boldi said students can take the free Bloomberg Market Concepts training to gain experience with the platform and become Bloomberg certified. Bondra said the course allows students to become more familiar with the platform and the certification is a valuable addition to their resumes.
“The Bloomberg program/software is somewhat intuitive, and menu-based but to really take advantage of it I would recommend taking the 8-hour Bloomberg Market Concepts training which introduces one to how markets and the economy works,” Bondra said via email. “It is a self-paced video tutorial that can be viewed and analyzed within Bloomberg. You can complete the training, pass several quizzes and get an email acknowledgment and be Bloomberg certified.”
Senior Calvin Carmichael, president of the Core Trading Consultants investing club, said he has used Bloomberg Terminals extensively for business classes, his personal research and CTC research. Carmichael said he hopes that the terminal in the library will encourage students with majors outside of the School of Business to conduct their own research and follow the news using the terminal’s live news feeds.
“It’s a really, really good source of information for current events [and] getting news from every single outlet kind of compiled in an easily digestible format,” Carmichael said. “This could be applicable not only to finance or business but people who are studying economics, even mathematics because there’s plenty of coverage of all sorts of news. … I think a lot of students will be able to get a lot of use out of that.”
Bahlous-Boldi and Bondra both said the terminal in the library will allow all students, regardless of their major, to learn more about finance and economic data. Bahlous-Boldi said she hopes students will use the terminal to increase their financial literacy.
“Every student at Ithaca College should be exposed to investing into finance as early as 18 when they join Ithaca College,” Bahlous-Boldi said. “The sooner they start, the more wealth they will accumulate and the more they will be prepared in managing their own money and … managing their finances.”