By Amber Lucas, Pre-Business
This year I have had the opportunity to participate in many informative and enriching activities through the Financial Management Association (FMA). One of the most enlightening experiences was the FMA Finance Leaders’ Conference in Chicago this past March.
On the first day, we participated in a fun Quiz Bowl, learned about professional development, and had the unique opportunity to tour and learn about the international investment research firm Morningstar. There we learned about the company’s history and the unique products they use to help investors. I was particularly moved by the scope of their operations and their variety of clients, from the completely novice individual investor to the most well versed client. Further, Morningstar has global contacts in twenty-seven different countries, including Australia, Denmark, and Japan. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Style Box, a tool Morningstar has popularized. This box allows investors to evaluate securities.
The following day, we toured the Chicago Board of Option Exchange (CBOE). This was the best part of the trip by far! We had the opportunity to see the markets open in the morning, watch real live traders, and participate in a “real life” trading session. We also learned about the many, many different career paths at the Exchange. We then toured the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where we learned about the purpose of the Reserve and counterfeiting. Did you know the government prevents approximately 95% of counterfeit money from circulating in America?
During session breaks, we toured the Financial District and the Chicago area. It is truly a beautiful city. As a freshman who has not taken any finance courses yet, I felt the trip definitely helped me begin my journey into the financial arena.
If you are interested in Finance, the Financial Management Association here at the U of A is an excellent resource to gain insight into the field, ask questions, and meet current and past top financial leaders. I highly recommend that you check us out this semester!