The trading floor classroom

November 29, 2011 2:33:51 PM PST
The idea is to make Iona College students, studying the financial markets, feel as though they are learning on Wall Street.

"It's just to expose us to what the real tools out there, because this is what they use." Michael Yasko said.

A generous donation from alumni business leaders led to the new trading floor.

"It's not just a trading floor. It's a huge depository of business information," Vincent Calluzzo, the business school dean, said.

It is classroom, but it includes everything from the stock ticker to the big board to the latest business news.

The students also have a virtual fund to manage, allowing them to practice investing while they track the progress of their "virtual" money.

"It's great. I mean, it's pretty incredible that we can have the same stuff that real traders have down on Wall Street that a lot of schools, even around here, don't actually have access to," Kyle Kelan said.

The realistic training is expected to give students an edge if they decide to pursue jobs on Wall Street, but they could also face criticism from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"I have a goal. I want to satisfy that goal, and if I want to work on Wall Street, I have my right to work on Wall Street," student Jacob Mineo said.

The trading floor is part of a planned Center for Financial Market Studies to support Iona's post graduate programs, and it will also be used in more undergraduate courses.