A group of Hollins University students got to meet firsthand with some of the prominent movers and shakers in the world of business and economics during a four-day, three-night field trip to New York City, October 26-29.
Led by Assistant Professor of Business Lucas Long and Assistant Professor of Theatre Suellen Coelho, the students “connected the theoretical realm of academia to the practical realities of the professional world,” according to Long.
The group visited the headquarters of Bloomberg, the business and financial news and technology company located in midtown Manhattan. Highlights included the Bloomberg News Center, “an enclave where the pulse of financial information beats ceaselessly,” Long says, and a conversation with veteran news anchor and reporter Charlie Pellett. The students were also introduced to the center of Bloomberg’s operations, the Bloomberg Terminal, the computer software system that provides data analytics, financial market coverage, and access to trading tools.
Long believes the visit to Bloomberg “was not merely a tour; it was an immersive educational experience. The students departed with a wealth of knowledge.”
Next, the students headed to the heart of Wall Street where they toured Hudson River Trading, “a prominent company that trades a remarkable 10% of the total stocks in the S&P 500 each day,” Long explains. “This visit provided valuable insights into the intricacies of high-frequency training.”
The students’ final destination was Columbia Business School at Columbia University, whose M.B.A. program has been ranked as the best globally by The Financial Times. Welcomed by members of the school’s admission department and three current M.B.A. students, the group learned about the program structure, application procedures, and the specific criteria that is highly regarded by the admission team when evaluating applications.
“This comprehensive and illuminating session at Columbia not only broadened our understanding of the academic offerings but also provided us with a nuanced perspective on the holistic M.B.A. experience at one of the finest institutions in the world,” Long says. “The insights shared by the M.B.A. students were invaluable: They generously imparted their wealth of experiences and shed light on crucial topics such as the rigorous course load, the vibrant student life, and the myriad of opportunities available on campus.”
Long notes that the students also enjoyed ample time to explore New York City life with excursions to the Empire State Building (“an unparalleled opportunity to marvel at the cityscape”), Times Square (“a unique blend of exhilaration and awe”), the New York Stock Exchange (“an institution synonymous with economic prowess”), Central Park (“our students relished a delightful dinner amidst the serene surroundings”), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“we immersed ourselves in the world of art and history, exploring the museum’s vast and varied collections”).
When reflecting on the trip, Long says he relishes how it “has proven to be profoundly enriching, expanding the horizons of knowledge for our students. It has served as a catalyst, encouraging them to strive for excellence and bolstering their determination to carve out successful futures.”
He adds, “The exposure gained from this experience has not only broadened their understanding but has also ignited a newfound passion for learning. Witnessing the world outside the confines of their classrooms has inspired them to aim higher and work diligently toward their goals. This excursion has not merely been a journey; it has been a transformative odyssey that has instilled in them a sense of purpose and determination.”
Long extends his gratitude to President Mary Dana Hinton, Nora Kizer Bell Provost Laura McLary, Associate Professor and Chair of Business and Economics Pablo Hernandez, Batten Leadership Institute Director Abrina Schnurman, Chair of the Faculty Elise Schweitzer, and Trustee Alexandra Trower ’86 for their support in making the field trip possible.