Opportunities & Activities
Economics and finance majors have many opportunities for activities that will enrich their formal classroom instruction. Most of these involve hands-on experiences that give them skills that will significantly enhance their career prospects. Business firms are looking for college graduates that have not only received the highest quality classroom instruction, but also demonstrate real world experience. At UD, we have both. Many of these opportunities also allow students to network with industry professionals, another huge advantage enjoyed by economics and finance majors.
Davis Center for Portfolio Management
The Richard P. and Susan P. Davis Center for Portfolio Management is a unique opportunity. The Center is run by student managers and team leaders selected competitively each year. The most visible part of the Center is the $14 million portfolio of stocks managed by Center students. This is real money and students make the decisions as to what stocks to buy and sell. They are assisted by the Center director and two executives-in-residence, real world practitioners—but the decisions are made by the students. This is one of the largest student managed funds in the world. They play a role in hosting RISE, the world’s largest student investment forum. They also conduct educational seminars, arrange field trips, participate in national finance competitions, undertake service projects—and, perhaps most importantly—they teach each other.
Hanley Trading Center
The Hanley Trading Center is a learning laboratory that focuses on courses involving derivatives, or alternative investments. The Flyer Forex Fund is a student-run proprietary trading group that functions out of the Center, where students are responsible for executing trades. In addition, students in the Hanley Center take numerous field trips which often result in internship and job placements. Particular emphasis is placed on currency trades and energy stocks. One thing of interest is that there is activity in the Center at 3:00 a.m. when the trading day begins in some parts of the world. UD is one of the few, if not only, universities that has both a conventional trading lab (the Davis Center), and an alternative investments trading lab.
The Finance Club is open to all business students. The Club provides a variety of speakers who work in a number of different finance positions. It also provides supplementary instruction to strengthen students’ understanding of concepts covered in finance classes. For more information just stop in the Davis Center (Miriam 118) and ask.
One of the really important things for economics and finance majors to do is acquire an internship. Internships connect theory learned in classes to practice, and increasingly prospective employers like to see real world experience when they evaluate job applicants. The Davis and Hanley Centers pride themselves on assisting students in finding internship positions. Assistance is also available from the internship office in UD’s Career Placement Center. Some students acquire internships on their own through family or friends. However an internship is found, don’t neglect this important piece of your undergraduate experience.
CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge
Another national competition, involving both Hanley and Davis Center students, is the CME commodity trading challenge. CME is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives trading group. They sponsor an annual competition which involves an “open outcry competition.” Last year the UD team had two students that placed in the top ten in this interesting and unusual competition.
Economics and finance majors take a number of field trips each year to New York, Chicago, and Houston. These field trips involve UD students making presentations to industry leaders in stock trading firms, energy firms, and a number of others. The university covers most of the expenses for these trips. Often times these trips lead to networking contacts that are most valuable in students obtaining internships or full time positions.
Independent Studies and Honors Theses
Undergraduate economics and finance majors are prolific producers of independent studies and honors theses. Written under supervision of faculty members and/or executives-in-residence, students have produced impressive research results. There have even been a couple of instances in which economics students presented research results at national faculty conferences—one of which resulted in the student being immediately offered a full fellowship for doctoral study in economics. Students who have intellectual curiosity have all manner of opportunity to pursue high level independent research.
Honor Societies and Awards
For economics majors there is a UD chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society in economics. Each semester students with high grade points are selected for membership in this prestigious organization. It is open to all students who have completed 12 hours in economics, whether or not they are economics majors. Also, the outstanding senior in economics and in finance is selected for a coveted departmental award.