“A Surge of Energy”: Renovated Finance Lab Immerses Students in Financial Data and Market Conditions
The updated space, which displays real-time market data and allows students to access financial software, enhances experiential learning opportunities and builds in-demand skills for students interested in finance.
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 10:25 AM
Students take a class in the newly renovated Finance Lab. Photos by Kristi Morris
Visit the first floor of the Ettinger Building and you’ll be able to see into the newly renovated Finance Lab, which now features financial tickers and built-in computers that run the financial trading program StockTrak and the investment analysis platform Morningstar Direct. The updated space reflects an investment from the College that will allow students to engage more deeply with the industry, says Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Accounting, Business, Economics and Finance Lindsey Nagy.
“Students strengthen their analytical and decision-making skills in a relatively risk-free environment as they build and maintain fictitious portfolios. Providing them access to current and historical financial, industry and macroeconomic conditions data enables them to analyze trends, perform predictive forecasting and understand how multiple situational factors can affect the markets, all of which informs their decisions and investment strategies,” Nagy says. “Ultimately, these experiences increase the amount of human capital a student possesses, which should improve their job market placement.”
“Both students and faculty are excited by the new space. The space and the financial tools and resources housed in it have brought a surge of energy into the program.”
Muhlenberg got campus-wide access to StockTrak last fall, and it’s being utilized in multiple classes, Nagy says. Morningstar Direct access began this semester, and Nagy anticipates that its use will expand further at the start of the next academic year. The Finance Program is working to establish learning goals specific to the resources in the Finance Lab that will allow finance students to work from introductory skills toward mastery as they progress through the major.
“Faculty have been eager to experiment with how best to integrate the tools and data into lectures and assignments. Students have been eager to start projects that require pulling financial data and reviewing Morningstar analyst reports,” says Nagy, noting that accounting and economics faculty are also using the software. “Both students and faculty are excited by the new space. The space and the financial tools and resources housed in it have brought a surge of energy into the program.”