George Mason University’s School of Business now offers students access to real-time financial market data and company and industry information. The school has recently acquired 12 Bloomberg Terminals. Eight of these terminals are designated for student use, while four are reserved for faculty research.
The Bloomberg Terminal, a computer system by Bloomberg L.P., is used by many of the top financial agencies, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as well as on trading floors around the world.
This addition to the school has increased the resources available to students. “The system presents a vast amount of data. It has information you would normally never be able to see,” says Gerald Hanweck, associate dean for graduate programs and professor of finance.
Though mainly used in finance, the terminal is not restricted to students majoring in finance. This will be reflected in how the school will implement its use. “It’s ubiquitous in the business world and not just in finance,” explains Hanweck. “It will provide information for all of our disciplines in one way or another.”
Shelly Canterbury, professor of finance at the School of Business, has already begun to implement its use in her class this semester by having her students pull market comparables on competing companies. Many students have also begun to use the terminals on their own to get up to date information on the companies they are discussing in the classroom.
“They are excited to use the terminals and some are taking it upon themselves to become certified users,” says Canterbury. “Bloomberg is widely used in the financial industry, and it’s a skill set that is very valuable to potential employers.”
Elyor Tulyaganov, a senior undergraduate finance student, has used the system in a previous internship and is thrilled to have the terminals available to him on campus. He is currently using it to research the soft drink industry for a class and notes how the terminals help streamline his search. “If you wanted to research a company without the terminal you would have to search for annual reports or quarterly reports which can get very tedious because you have to go to each file and find the numbers you are searching,” explains Tulyaganov. “Bloomberg Terminal simplifies the process where you can see annual, semi-annual, and quarterly data all in one table.”
The terminals are not only intended to simplify the research process but also to enhance it. “Students are using the most widely used state of the art database with financial information drawn from all over the world. They have access to up to date, global information they can apply to their classroom experience,” says Canterbury. “All this at the touch of their fingertips.”