Packed and ready, the students in the MBA program headed out the door on their quest for knowledge and networking. It was the Thursday before the first day of class and the MBA Student Association was on the way to New York City for the most jam-packed 36 hour trip of their lives… or at least the summer. By 11:00 AM fourteen students had met in the lobby of the fabulous Affinia Manhattan Hotel, located across the street from Madison Square Garden. Yes indeed, it was surely the start of another incredible MBA Student Association – New York City Residency.
After a 30 minute meet ‘n greet and the forming of an official game plan for the two-days, the group headed to the subway system to embark on the first day of events in the financial district. Surviving the 100+ degree subway stations, the group decided to split for a little lunch before experiencing the first location; the New York Stock Exchange. Many students explored the area; stopping by for a glimpse of One World Trade Center (also known as The Freedom Tower), getting a picture taken with the Charging Bull, or watching the one-man Occupy Wall Street protest on the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial.
When it was finally time to go in the NYSE Euronext, the group lined-up and waited to be welcomed into the lobby where an electronic wall display with the Mason logo and MBASA logo awaited us. Our tour guide, Steve Wheeler, was very knowledgeable and provided all the insight into how things ticked at the stock exchange. He told us about how trades were accomplished. He explained the various layouts that the NYSE Euronext had gone through over the many years. He even went into discussing the atmosphere on the trading floor during the Flash Crash and the day Knight Capital was removed from the trading floor. As we sat in a room at a long conference table learning about this history, I couldn’t help wonder what the actual stock exchange floor was like. Not soon after I would find out. The group was divided into 3. Each given a tour guide, we weaved through the posts on the floor, trying to see which news anchor was live, in hopes to get our 15 seconds of fame on TV. I tallied at least 4 appearances myself.
To find out what happens next on the New York City Residency, continue on to Part 2 and Part 3 of this mini-series.