Wall-to-wall continuously scrolling ticker tapes reporting real-time stock and financial activity. Over-sized monitors displaying up-to-the-moment financial news. The latest financial management software. These are some of the tools used by professional financial wizards, and now by business students at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
On Nov. 20 the College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP) officially opened its new Financial Market Trading and Business Simulation Lab with a ribbon cutting ceremony. CBAPP Dean Joseph Wen thanked university faculty, staff, students, alumni, and business partners for their contributions, which made this “dream come true.” He credited the original idea to Tayyeb Shabbir, professor of finance and director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development and Global Logistics.
Located in room F-117 of the Social and Behavioral Sciences building, the lab will provide students in courses using the room the opportunity to practice with real market data from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, energy, commodities and bonds, as well as manage mock financial portfolios. (Wen plans to someday have students manage accounts earning actual dividends.) Additionally, students will be able to develop management skills in human resources, and business, finance and hospitality revenue management using industry-standard software.
The high-tech lab houses 24 workstations each equipped with a computer that is connected to a virtual cloud server and a retractable monitor, giving teachers the ability to direct students’ attention between the computer and the front of the classroom, where there is a 87-inch smart whiteboard that can be operated through a computer or as a touch screen, allowing instructors and students dynamic access.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, representatives from CCS Presentation Systems Inc., the company that installed and trained instructors on the new whiteboard, demonstrated some of its capabilities, and Wen explained details of MorningStar, a financial trading simulation software, which will be used in the lab.
In addition to the 22-foot-wide LED ticker tape and 110-inch “market video wall” inside the lab, a ticker tape and large-screen monitor are viewable from outside the lab. Wen hopes these will interest those passing by in current stock activity and news, and possibly attract more students to choose finance as a major.
Alumnus and senior editor of Page One at the Wall Street Journal, Sam Enriquez (Class of ’85, B.S., economics), who attended the lab’s debut as part of his participation in the university’s concurrent inaugural Professor of the Day, said that although he learned about micro-economics, politics, the role of the fed (Federal Reserve), and the economy when he was a student at CSU Dominguez Hills, if he could relive those days, he would also concentrate more on finance.
“If you learn this, … you have jobs in L.A., New York, and London and around the world,” Enriquez said of students’ career prospects.
Gavin Centeno, president of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), the organization that contributed $150,000 to fund the new $300,000 facility, noted the tremendous opportunities that the lab provides students and said investing in the lab is an important step toward preparing students for the global workforce.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary Reichard also commented on the lab’s impact to the university, saying “This facility represents, I think, a physical embodiment of the transformation of Cal State Dominguez Hills. It represents the future, it represents the ways in which the university is going to be sure that students have the best, the very best, in order to succeed while they’re here and especially when they leave Dominguez Hills with their degree in hand.”
Additional funding for the Market Trading Lab was provided by the CBAPP Professional Advisory Board and alumni.