Studying finance at IÉSEG: Focus on IÉSEG’s virtual trading rooms
In order to prepare students studying finance for their future careers, IÉSEG opened in 2010 and 2011, “virtual” trading rooms on both its campuses (Lille and Paris). With 48 Bloomberg terminals, IÉSEG is this year (2016-2017) Bloomberg’s biggest academic partner in France.
All finance students (Grande École program, MSc in Finance and MSc in Investment Banking and Capital Markets) receive introductory Bloomberg sessions. In the Master cycle of the Grande École program, this includes an introduction to key elements of the service and exporting data to Excel. In the Master of Science programs, they receive a longer, more in-depth introduction to Bloomberg services. These initiation sessions are validated through the Bloomberg Market Concepts certificates which students can gain.
After the introduction sessions, the use of Bloomberg terminals is then integrated more intensively into the teaching of different finance courses at IÉSEG. The range of courses cover topics such as company valuation, managing portfolios (stock or bonds), risk management (credit risk, market risk or liquidity risk) or computer programming (VBA).
In the course on firm valuation, for example, each session is based on 50% theory and 50% practice. The practical elements encompass demonstrations by the professor as well as the financial modeling carried out by the students. At the end of the course, students (in groups) develop their own model, each providing a scenario for the future of the company. IÉSEG was recently invited to present at the Bloomberg for Education conference held in Paris on 17 February where it highlighted the teaching methods that have been deployed in its trading rooms over the last years.
Renaud Beaupain, Professor of Finance, who is responsible for the trading rooms, explains: “In our trading rooms, students are able to use the theoretical knowledge they gain in simulated real-life situations. The practical competences they gain will also be very useful in their future careers.”
Students have free access to the trading rooms outside of classes to help develop their skills and experience with the terminals.