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Applied learning opportunities for BW students expanding with donor support

A trip to Wall Street is one of the latest examples of students getting a taste of the real world outside the classroom.

Executive and voting members of the BW Investment Club traveled to New York City and Wall Street over Spring Break.

While a Baldwin Wallace University education is grounded in classroom learning, BW values hands-on application and offers a range of experiential learning opportunities.

That combination of theory and practice is on full display in the BW Carmel School of Business, which sent 10 executive and voting members of BW's Investment Club to Wall Street on a spring break trip supported by generous donors.

Learning by doing

The club members manage a real piece of the BW endowment using BW's state-of-the-art Bloomberg Room, which currently houses the second-most Bloomberg terminals of any University in the state.

All BW accounting and finance students are trained on the terminals, which are the same that Wall Street financiers use for research.

Finance professor Dr. Christian Nsiah, who mentors the Investment Club and led the visit to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, says students were exposed to "the operations of different Street-based financial institutions and career opportunities based on meetings with leaders of the New York Stock Exchange, investment banks, and cutting-edge fund and wealth management institutions."

Career connections and perspective

Ryan Rivera ’23 (left) and Dr. Christian Nsiah (right) on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Junior accounting and finance major Adam Cotte '24 was awed by the meetings with "experienced professionals working in some of the biggest banks and hedge funds in the world."

"I gained some really good insight on what it is that goes into the valuation of a company and what a larger scale stock pitch actually looks like. It was incredibly interesting to me because I plan on going into one of these career paths, if not a similar one, in the future," he says.

Ryan Rivera '23, a senior finance and digital marketing double major and chief investment officer of the Investment Club, agrees the opportunities to gain career perspective are invaluable.

"I've been able to immerse myself in real-life scenarios in the financial industry, utilizing skills such as portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, and equity research," Rivera said. "By participating in these opportunities, I am developing the practical skills and expertise needed to become a highly desirable candidate in the job market where experience is highly valued."

Events, competitions and conferences

BW’s Ohio HR Games team (left to right) Christina Lafko, Caroline Binkley and Cole Thompson.

Experiential learning is baked into other business programs as well, with sport management majors working the Super Bowl, Final Four, Formula One, Kentucky Derby and, new this year, The Master's.

Traveling to competitions that test real-world skills is another approach to applied learning, including a "David and Goliath" showing in the 2023 ACG Cup in Cleveland and a third-place prize at the Ohio HR Games held in Akron by Ohio SHRM.

HR team member Christina Lafko '24 noted, "It was a great opportunity to test my HR knowledge in relation to the SHRM-CP exam and meet some awesome new people."

In another recent experiential learning opportunity, the Carmel Boyer School's Carmen Castro-Rivera led a group of mixed majors from BW's Spanish and Latinx Student Association (SALSA) to the United States Hispanic Leadership Conference.

Taking care of business

Photo of Topgolf

"We hope to keep expanding the opportunities for students to connect classroom learning with the work they will be doing in their careers, and that's why we're looking to increase support for these life-changing experiences," says BW Business Dean Dr. Susan Kuznik.

To meet that goal, the Carmel Boyer School of Business is holding a "Taking Care of Business: Topgolf Networking and Fundraiser" event on April 13 at 6 p.m. in Topgolf's Chairmen's Suite in Independence, Ohio.

The event is open to all BW alumni, and proceeds will support student professional development opportunities, including attendance at professional conferences, networking events, co-curricular travel experiences and other applied learning opportunities.

More support will mean more BW business students will, as Rivera puts it, "capitalize on opportunities that were previously out of reach."

Members of BW SALSA (Spanish and Latinx Student Association) at the United States Hispanic Leadership Conference.

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