A visit to the First Derivatives Trading Room gives students an excellent opportunity to practically apply many of the concepts which they are studying at school. The excitement of trading, and the ability to research real world companies, makes traditional subjects come alive.
Business Studies students will get an opportunity to analyse major companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google. Detailed analysis of financial statements, management decisions, and the role of the stock market, will help students to understand how businesses really work.
Maths students will benefit from the demands of making accurate calculations whilst under the pressure of trading. The use of advanced mathematical concepts, such as calculus and statistical analysis, in the financial markets can also be demonstrated.
Economics pupils will be able to access the latest data on GDP, inflation and unemployment, and analyse what impact they have on stock markets and currencies. A discussion of the Eurozone Crisis, with an up to the minute analysis of the Greek debt problem, can help students appreciate how important economics and finance is to the world we live in.
A recent visit by Banbridge Academy illustrates the type of experience which students can enjoy. The afternoon began with an introduction to Queen's University Management School, and a discussion about the careers available from studying Finance. After some investment tips, the students competed against each other in an investment game, buying and selling shares based on breaking news relating to how companies were performing. Students were then asked to research a company in detail, using the detailed financial statements and data available in the trading room. The afternoon ended with an analysis of Greek bond yields, and a discussion of the difficulties being experienced in the Euro area.
Any schools who are interested in arranging a visit to the First Derivatives Trading Room can contact the BSc Finance Programme Director, Dr Gareth Campbell at email@example.com. Dr Campbell speaks regularly to school pupils about applying to University and potential career paths thereafter. He teaches first-year undergraduates in Maths for Finance, and postgraduate students in Corporate Finance.