Ten Years of Empowering Future Finance Professionals with Bloomberg Terminals

Bloomberg Terminals

"Students at Mercy University demonstrate a remarkable level of maturity and perspective, making them poised for success when equipped with the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them," said Zach Williams, M.B.A., Ph.D., assistant professor of business at Mercy University.

A decade ago, Mercy took a significant step by installing Bloomberg Terminals, marking a natural evolution for its thriving School of Business. This strategic decision underlined Mercy's commitment to preparing its graduates for rewarding careers by harnessing the power of a cutting-edge software system.

Bloomberg Terminals provide real-time financial market data analysis. With licenses made available to students at Mercy, they gain access to an industry-leading resource. The terminals, coupled with ticker tape displays adorning the walls of Mercy's Westchester and Manhattan Campuses, create an immersive Wall Street atmosphere, familiar to global financiers and appealing to users and passersby.

Heather Apollonio, M.B.A. '23, Mercy’s director of advancement operations and prospect management, highlights the capabilities of Bloomberg Terminals – which became apparent to her while working toward a graduate degree at Mercy: "The terminals provide not just stock data but a tremendous wealth of business information. Students can map supply chains, extract diverse data related to brand value, gauge media perceptions of different brands, and correlate this data with stock performance."

The installation of Bloomberg Terminals at Mercy University was made possible through the generosity of several donors. It reflects Mercy's ongoing investment in its students and belief in their potential. Joseph P. Carlucci, a Mercy University Trustee and Bloomberg Terminal donor, recognizes the importance of Bloomberg Terminals in the financial services industry, stating, "Investing in Bloomberg terminals is a significant step towards graduating work-ready students."

In recent years, Lloyd Gibson, dean of the School of Business, has been instrumental in enhancing students' engagement with Bloomberg Terminals. He, along with Williams and other business faculty, has implemented various initiatives. These include enrolling students in the annual global Bloomberg Trading Challenge, integrating Bloomberg Terminal usage into course curricula, promoting their use in student and faculty research, encouraging completion of the Bloomberg market concept certification, and conducting training seminars for students and alumni.

The Bloomberg Trading Challenge, an investment competition for both undergraduate and graduate students, unfolds entirely within the Bloomberg Terminal. Mercy students form small teams and invest a virtual sum of $1 million to construct a portfolio that outperforms the Bloomberg World Large, Mid & Small Cap index. In 2021, Mercy students excelled in this challenge, with the top-performing team securing the third spot in North America and the seventh spot globally, competing against teams from 496 countries.

Participating in the Challenge can be transformative, as Apollonio experienced as a graduate student new to the field of finance. "The Bloomberg Trading Challenge made me absolutely fascinated with understanding how finance works — both the patterns and the driving forces behind them," she reflected.

Williams notes, "Every day of the challenge, students gain a deeper understanding of finance and are compelled to make tough decisions. They learn to navigate the highs and lows, refining their skills, and, by the end of the Challenge, they realize they can do what they observe on platforms like CNBC."

Mercy ensures that the knowledge and understanding of Bloomberg Terminals extend to the classroom, enhancing the course material. When professors reference real-world financial data, they incorporate Bloomberg Terminal capabilities, providing students with a dynamic learning experience.

In addition to classroom integration and the Trading Challenge, students also benefit from field trips to Bloomberg’s global headquarters in Manhattan. These field trips offer students a glimpse into the potential of their careers and enrich their understanding of the finance industry.

Moreover, the Bloomberg Terminals are an indispensable tool for supporting ongoing research efforts. For example, Williams and Apollonio researched the challenges associated with ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings. ESG investing has gained immense popularity in recent years, but concerns have arisen regarding the reliability of current ESG rating methodologies. Williams and Apollonio contend that a positive ESG rating does not necessarily correlate with a company's financial performance and that it's challenging to assess the relevance of ESG rating components across various industries.

Williams emphasizes the significance of their research: "Our work aims to enhance the understanding of ESG ratings for investors, given that ESG investments have reached $35.3 trillion, representing 35.9% of all professionally managed assets, as per the Global Sustainable Investment Review."

The School of Business at Mercy University further enhances students' employability by offering the Bloomberg Market Concept Certification. This program, embedded in the undergraduate curriculum by Gibson and School of Business Assistant Professor Abdel-Kader Ben-Mohamed in 2019, equips students with valuable skills. To ensure ongoing proficiency, Mercy students and alumni can attend an annual training seminar conducted by Williams and a Bloomberg representative.

“These initiatives enable students to leverage Bloomberg Terminal data strategically, fostering critical decision-making skills in an information-driven world,” said Carlucci.

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Students at Bloomberg office
Mercy University School of Business students at Bloomberg's headquarters in Manhattan.