by John Garry
The Manhattan College finance department, advancing efforts to keep pace with the ever-changing finance industry, has continued to integrate Bloomberg Terminals, purchased in 2015, into its curriculum.
Simply as “the terminal” to the finance professionals who consider it an integral part of their toolkit, Bloomberg’s computers are an industry standard information delivery system.
It delivers data, analysis, and news to traders on Wall Street and around the world, and allows a broker to place trades at the click of a button.
As of 2016, the Bloomberg Terminal provides vital information to around 325,000 subscribers. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Amira Annabi, assistant professor of Economics & Finance at Manhattan College, a few of these are the students and faculty of MC.
Since 2015, when it began to be gradually introduced into the classroom, The Bloomberg Lab has become an integral part of the finance program.
“Bloomberg Terminals are Crucial in my classes. I teach all my classes in the Bloomberg lab, and I use the platform in almost every lecture,” said Dr. Annabi, who spearheaded the 2015 initiative to train finance students in the platform.
Annabi continued to share that the system has drastically changed her teaching since its rollout, especially in her higher level courses.
“I teach my Derivatives course every spring. Since I started using [the terminals], they’ve become a pillar of my syllabus. I use it in class, but I also have my students use it for activities and in their final project,” she said.
Students also seem to be loving the new platform.
“Over the summer I was looking at the student feedback for my courses. Since I’ve started using the platforms more and more, I’ve seen a trend where the class rating has consistently improved, and students specifically report that they love using Bloomberg Terminals,” she said.
Many students have opted to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts Course, which is an eight hour online class through which students can earn a Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification. Annabi sees the course as a boon for the resume or LinkedIn page of anyone interested in finance.
“85 percent of my students have earned the Bloomberg certification. The deadline is Dec. 2, and I expect even more students to earn it before then,” said Annabi.
“Knowledge of Bloomberg and other platforms gives students an early career advantage, because employers now expect skills and a comfort level with these technologies” said Donna Rapaccioli, dean of Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. “A new hire who comes in knowing [their] way around a Bloomberg terminal is a new hire whom the company doesn’t have to train in this area.”
To facilitate this training, Dr. Annabi has been working on a student’s manual for the system, the first edition of which was recently released.
“The Bloomberg Manual has been extremely helpful in my classes. I’ve released the first edition, and intend to release the second edition in mid March, which will contain even more details and guides for how to use the Terminals,” said Dr. Annabi about the guide, a labor of love that she hopes will help students truly become comfortable with the platform.
Her work in writing and compiling it has also enhanced her own knowledge of the platform. “Every time I learn about a new Bloomberg function, I incorporate it into my class.”
The success of the Bloomberg Lab may provide a model for the application of similar professional programs at the school. Services similar to Bloomberg Terminal, such as legal databases like Westlaw or LexisNexis, could be quite impactful at the college. Steven Bennett, who teaches business law at the college, says that while he does not prescribe the use of any electronic materials in his course, his students independently use a variety of online research tools to write papers on legal topics.
Nicholas Weyland, former student of Manhattan College, highly agreed with Annabi on that aspect of the manual.
“The whole idea of the manual is to give students more exposure to what Bloomberg offers, it’s another way to help students learn,” said Weyland. “If you go into the field without Bloomberg knowledge, it could set you back, but if you learn more about Bloomberg earlier and all it has to offer, it could pay dividends in the end.”
She hopes to hear more feedback from students to aid her in improving both the manual and the way in which the system is used. She looks forward to working with her students to help them truly master the Bloomberg Terminal.
As she told The Quadrangle in January, “We do anything we can to not only help those who struggle, but also those who want to do more.”
CORRECTION (December 6, 10:10 a.m. EDT): An earlier version of this article named the dean of Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business as Jordan Rapaccioli. Her first name is Donna.