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First Dakota National Bank eTrading Education Lab offers experience employers are looking for

Three students and professor viewing a computer screen

SDSU prides itself on offering students a variety of experiential opportunities. One of those opportunities has been giving students the experience employers are searching for. The Ness School of Management and Economics is home to the First Dakota National Bank eTrading Education Lab. This lab allows students the opportunity to develop financial knowledge needed in their future careers.

The First Dakota National Bank eTrading Education Lab is located in Harding Hall. Equipped with 18 desktop computers with dual monitors, this lab offers the use of Bloomberg terminal. Bloomberg terminal is the premier system for financial data analytics, offering access to news, data and analytics tools. Having this system is crucial for offering students a valuable experience that others across the nation may not have the opportunity to access. Nicole Klein, associate director of the Ness School of Management and Economics, said, “Having Bloomberg terminal allows us to go much more in depth in our classes than what we would be able to do otherwise.”

The lab has a capacity of 36 and hosts courses such as business finance, agricultural finance, marketing research, agribusiness marketing and prices, investments, the student managed investment fund and trading in agricultural futures and options. Along with Bloomberg terminal, the lab is equipped with other analytical programs such as Interactive Broker Platform, Morningstar Direct, SAS, STATA and Python.

When students reflect on the value of their experiences in the Ness School, the student managed investment fund (SMIF) and the trading in agricultural futures and options are often discussed. Klein explained the background of these classes, “These classes allow students to put their course knowledge to practice with real funds generously donated by donors. The SMIF class now manages a portfolio of about $460,000, a combination of generous donations plus investment gains. The trading in agricultural futures and options class utilizes the POET Commodity Trading Fund to invest in commodity futures and options to manage risk in the agricultural markets.” Students get experience doing company analysis by looking into the financial ratios of various companies, investigating competitors, researching their company outlook and more. These one-of-a-kind experiential opportunities equip SDSU students to enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

Klein emphasized the importance of this type of learning outside the workplace as well. “Students get experience they can take into their work careers but they can also use it in their personal life for their personal investing,” said Klein. With recent events and news about the stock market, knowledge about personal investing is even more necessary.

For students, having the ability to place a Bloomberg market concepts certificate and other analytical programs on their resume is a strong advantage in job searching. Zhiguang Wang, coordinator of the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Lab and DuBois professor of business finance and investments in the Ness School, highlighted this, “Our SMIF alumni demonstrate strong analytical abilities and their hands-on experiences as an analyst lend them clear advantages in finding premier jobs.”

Many other students in other colleges and departments also access this experiential learning lab by taking courses within the Ness School, such as finance, marketing and commodity risk management courses. Klein is hopeful to continue building connections across campus and the community by offering more student learning activities through groups such as the Investment Club as well as public events that include SDSU Extension workshops.

Learn more about the experiential opportunities offered by the Ness School of Management and Economics here.