Connecting to the Real World (from Past to Present)
Innovation and creativity have always been a hallmark of the finance program at UE. Experiential learning is in the forefront of the education offered to students. Over the years, finance professors have been creating opportunities for students to connect to the real world.
Financial Market Tours
For example, in the very first year after joining UE in 1990, finance Professor Walayet Khan took students to Financial Markets in Chicago where students visited the actual trading floor and interacted with market makers and traders. This was just the beginning of a new wave of activities of learning through real world exposures. Since then, students have visited numerous other financial markets and investment banking firms, including the New York, the Pacific and the Philadelphia Stock Exchanges and Goldman Sachs.
CEOs or other top executives from reputable organizations, such as the New York Stock Exchange, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, have spoken with our students in person at UE. Changing technology has provided a new opportunity for global connectivity through video conferencing. In 2005, the first time in the history of the School of Business, an international video conference was arranged. The Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange talked to students through video conferencing from his office thousands of miles away from Evansville in Tel Aviv, Israel. Video conferencing has now become routine. Most recently, in Spring 2015, the World Bank Economist, Microsoft operational CEO for Asia and the Director New Business Development from the Peruvian Stock Exchange have interacted with students through video conferencing or Skype from their office in Istanbul, Turkey and Lima, Peru.
Purple Aces Students Managed Fund
In 2005, the School of Business initiated the PURPLE ACES Students Managed Fund, which offers students a unique opportunity of hands-on experience. Students, on their own, make all the buy, sell, and hold decisions. They are provided with the basic road map and tools of stock analyses and develop their own expertise. The fund has successfully performed over the years, even during the severe market downturns. The local money management firm, Hilliard Lyons, serves as the broker. Jeff Berger, the investment advisor, actively interacts with the students.
Connecting to the real world is the routine, and not exception, in our finance offerings. For example, most recently (spring 2015), eight student teams, each consisting of three to four students in the Financial Planning class (FIN 482), visited various money managers and financial managers (from Donaldson Capital Management, Hilliard Lyons, and Watkins Associates) and shared with them what they are learning in the class room and received insights about real-world perspectives. In continuation of the well-established innovative finance program, another important initiative was taken in 2013 - the launch of the Institute of Banking and Finance.