Simulated stock exchange gives students an industry edge

The first simulated stock exchange trading floor in a South Australian university has recently opened at the University of South Australia Business School. This innovative facility allows students to engage with the global derivatives trading industry, introducing them to market simulation programs that run throughout their studies.

The new IRESS Trading Room is the first of its kind in Australia, standing as a hub of opportunity for students heading to the region. Sponsored by IRESS, a global leader in cutting-edge financial technologies, the trading room gives students a valuable insight into their future careers in finance.

Finance lecturer, Dr Damien Wallace, says the hi-tech facility transforms the learning experience from one that is traditionally theoretical to a practice-based learning experience that brings theory to life.

“The IRESS Trading Room provides access to data and analytics identical to that which is provided to financial institutions, traders, fund managers and brokers around the world,” he says.

“The activities we undertake in the IRESS Trading Room expand on the theoretical knowledge from lectures to provide real practical experience for our students.

“First year students are introduced to basic concepts and are able to gather data on individual stocks and on the wider market, identify news that may affect the share price, and aggregate this to form conclusions about the efficiency of the market.

“For more experienced students, there are portfolio management activities, trading-based exercises and practical risk management strategies implemented in the room.

“At postgraduate level we also introduce a behavioural aspect to determine rational or irrational trading behavior.

“The IRESS Trading Room provides a tangible link between theory and practice, meaning students are able to see the big picture and understand what their career may look like.”

An expert in market microstructure and equity pricing, Dr Wallace says he enjoys being able to incorporate his research into the student experience.

“The research I undertake into the mechanisms of market operations and innovations in markets keeps the material provided to students up-to-date, informative and engaging,” he says.

“As a researcher, I like to introduce aspects of my research into the course material and integrate my findings into the scenarios I put to the students in the trading room.”

Dr Wallace says the decision to install a state-of-the-art trading room was influenced by industry feedback that indicated there was a real need for students to graduate with hands-on experience.

IRESS Managing Director of Financial Markets for Australia and New Zealand, Kirsty Gross, says she is pleased to partner with the University of South Australia Business School to deliver the IRESS Trading Room.

“We’re excited to partner with the University of South Australia Business School to support innovation from the ground up,” Gross says.

“The new IRESS trading room is the first of its kind for an Australian business school, enabling business, community and students to engage and learn using state-of-the-art technology.

“We’re delighted to provide the technology to facilitate a simulated global financial trading market to help grow the next generation of financial services leaders.”

The University of South Australia Business School, ranked in the top one percent of business schools worldwide, offers a range of accounting and finance degrees that use the new IRESS Trading Room, including the Master of Finance.

Designed in consultation with industry, the Master of Finance equips students with skills and knowledge needed to tackle challenges of the fast-developing global finance industry.

The degree focuses on advanced corporate finance, investment management and behavioural finance. Specialised courses in banking, financial planning, international capital markets and trade allow learners to tailor their studies to best suit their aspirations.

Courses are taught by experienced research professionals, ensuring students strengthen their research and analytical techniques. A range of professional opportunities are also on offer, giving students a much needed industry edge.

Bangladeshi finance alumni Akhilesh Rahman Prio says the University of South Australia Business School provides many opportunities to gain industry experience.

“During my studies, I volunteered in various organisations and undertook projects for personal and professional development, including the Business Career Mentor Program, internships and leadership improvement seminars,” he says.

“I am now an Analyst at Deloitte where I apply various areas of my technical learning to my current role.”

The University of South Australia was recently ranked in the Top 150 global institutions for Accounting and Finance in the 2018 QS Subject Rankings. If you hope to succeed in the corporate field of accounting and finance, this is where your journey begins.

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