George Mason University

News at Mason

What a Difference a Bloomberg Terminal Can Make

March 1, 2012

By Shelly Canterbury, School of Management

Mason’s School of Management now offers students access to real-time financial market data at the touch of their fingertips. The school has recently acquired 12 Bloomberg Terminals for student use and faculty research.

The Bloomberg licenses not only provide market-relevant data but also facilitate placing trades. The terminals are widely used by financial service firms and at some business schools around the world.

A dozen Bloomberg terminals are available 24-7 in a campus lab. Photo courtesy of the School of Management

Jorge Haddock, dean of the School of Management, says he made it a priority when he arrived at Mason in 2009 to begin providing students and faculty members with this important resource.

The research lab, located in Enterprise Hall, is open every day around the clock. On any given day, one can find several students at the terminals doing research for class projects or completing modules to become Bloomberg certified.

“Having access to the Bloomberg system and training as an undergraduate is a distinct advantage for Mason business students,” says Reid Hoff, a senior finance major. “I feel as though I now have a leg up on the competition that may never have seen a Bloomberg terminal before entering their first job.

“Offering the Bloomberg system was an excellent investment for Mason as the university strives to offer students more learning and growth opportunities outside of the traditional classroom.”

Students say they are using Bloomberg not only for their finance classes but practically all of their School of Management classes.

“Bloomberg is such a ubiquitous tool in the business world, and not just in finance,” says Gerald Hanweck, associate dean for graduate programs in the School of Management. “It will provide information for all of our disciplines in one way or another.”

Students in finance case competitions are already using the terminals to compete in the CFA Global Challenge, and will employ them in the upcoming Duff & Phelps Deal Challenge and the Georgetown Stockpitch Competition. Troy McArtor, a junior finance major and team member in the Duff & Phelps case competition, recently completed his Bloomberg certification.

“Rather than having to borrow time from an outside firm with Bloomberg access or team up with students from a competing school, like they did in previous years, our team has the advantage right here in Enterprise Hall,” says McArtor. “Becoming Bloomberg certified took extra time, but I am sure it will help me with the valuation course, our competition and my professional career.”

Shelly Canterbury, finance instructor, is integrating Bloomberg-based analysis into her course requirements for financial analysis, forecasting and valuation.

“The complex analysis capabilities offered through Bloomberg will allow my students to quickly access company and industry data, analyze multiyear performance, and provide competitive analysis with a consolidated set of data,” says Canterbury. “In the past, students were required to access various corporations’ 10Ks to consolidate multiyear data. With the use of Bloomberg, this information can be gathered quickly, almost instantaneously, so students can concentrate on the more important aspects of valuation and analysis.”

Alexander Philipov, assistant professor of finance, has also implemented Bloomberg in the courses he teaches, enabling his undergraduate and graduate students to understand, in both content and context, the current Greek financial crisis.

“It is great to see how enlightened the students have become with the real-life and relevant examples that I provide as a result of the Bloomberg terminals,” says Philipov.

“Bloomberg allowed me to take what I learned in the classroom and apply it to real-time, real-world situations,” says Adam Parrington, a senior finance major. However, he adds a warning for his fellow students: “Bloomberg terminals can be highly addictive!”