John Latronico, a finance and management information systems major (center) and Marcin Ciolek, a finance and economics major (white top), among other students on the floor of the NYSE. Photo courtesy of Xiao He.

Lerner students experience NYC

Trip includes lunch with alums, New York Stock Exchange closing bell

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9:04 a.m., March 31, 2011----Before heading out on spring break, students studying finance and business at the University of Delaware got a taste of working life in one of the world's most famous financial districts during a trip to New York City earlier in March.

As part of the trip, 27 students had lunch with UD alumni and visited JPMorgan Private Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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“This trip was a wonderful experience,” said Marcin Ciolek, a senior finance major. “I have learned a lot in my classes about the Federal Reserve and NYSE, but seeing it in person definitely helped me get a better understanding and hands-on experience.”

In the morning, students met with a panel of JPMorgan Private Bank employees, including the CEO of the Private Wealth Management Division, a business strategist, an investor, a banker, an associate and an analyst.

Ed Bradley, a 1998 UD graduate, acted as a panelist and coordinated the visit.

“Bradley helped present to our students a variety of business and finance jobs, and gave them the opportunity to ask questions and have conversations with his colleagues,” said Rich Jakotowicz, director of the Exelon Trading Center and instructor of finance.

Students then headed to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where they took a tour of the gold vault, which holds over $200 billion worth of gold 80 feet below street level.

In the middle of the day, the students separated into smaller groups and lunched with various UD alumni, affording them the opportunity to network, ask company-specific questions and gain insight into various careers in business.

“The lunch with UD alums helped us to learn more about new career options as well as how an education from UD can open a lot of doors,” said Ciolek. “I encourage everyone to take this trip.”

After lunch, students headed to the NYSE, where they toured the floor, met with traders and designated market makers and learned the process the NYSE utilizes when investors buy and sell securities.

“Getting the chance to walk on the floor of the NYSE was an incredible opportunity,” said Jeffrey Stanton, a finance and operations management major. “We got to really be a part of one of the most historic and biggest financial centers in the world.”

“Some people think they know what trading is like but until you visit the NYSE and meet an actual trader, you have no idea,” added Mark Thompson, a finance and economics major.

Ciolek also commented on the opportunity to experience the closing bell at the NYSE.

“You could feel all the rush and excitement that goes on right before the market closes,” noted Ciolek.

At the NYSE, students also had the chance to meet with UD alums Michael Geltzeiler, Stephanie Bell and Keith DiFiore.

Said Jakowitcz of the NYSE experience, “Our students were on the floor of the NYSE for the closing bell at 4 p.m. -- on a day when markets were up!”

The Department of Finance in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics has sponsored trips to New York City's financial districts since the early 1980s in order to give students a hands-on educational experience with financial markets and the opportunity to meet with UD alumni in the business.

In 2001, Jeff Harris, professor of finance, took over coordination of the outing and expanded the number of trips to two per year.

The fall semester trip is open to twice the number of students and offers two options -- a downtown tour similar to that in the spring that usually includes visits to Goldman Sachs and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in addition to the NYSE, or a midtown tour that usually includes a trip to the NASDAQ Stock Market, Bloomberg and a large financial firm.

Past locations visited include Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Protiviti, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., NYMEX, JPMorgan, AMEX, National Securities Corporation, Deutsche Bank, Archeus Capital, Bear Stearns and Moody's.

Students interested in participating in future trips should contact Arlene Hitchens at [hitchena@udel.edu].

Article by Kathryn A. Marrone

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