Students completing Masters Degrees with Heriot-Watt University's Department of Accountancy, Economics and Finance had the opportunity to visit the London Stock Exchange (LSE) recently.
The students were shown 'Inside the Markets' with a tour and special LSE training programme which gives university students expert insights into one of the world's leading financial hubs.
Dr. Mo Sherif, Director of MSc Finance Programmes here at Heriot-Wat University, was supported by two PhD students, Wahida Yaakub and Raed Abdullah Alhelal, in organising the London Stock Exchange trip.
The trip promoised students the chance to gain expert advice directly from the industry and proved to be incredibly popular to those completing MSc degrees in the subjects of Accounting, Economics, Finance and Investment as all forty places were booked up in a matter of minutes, demonstrating a high level of interest and a real commitment from students to learn more about their field of study.
Dr Sherif saw it as the perfect moment to announce the hugely exciting news that a Trading Simulation Room is to be set up at Heriot-Watt University in September 2018 to give students the chance to gain true-to-life experience of working on the trading floor right here on our Edinburgh campus.
During the trip, our MSc students were shown 'Inside the Markets' with a 4-hour training session conducted by Tracey Paul-Clark who has more than 30 years of industry experience. She offered insights into the operations and regulations of UK stock markets as well as the international equity capital market environments in which the London Stock Exchange is involved.
The students were tasked with keeping a close eye on stock market fluctuations during the training and challenged to determine what the closing price for the FTSE 100 index would be at 1.30pm. This would be an extremely difficult task for even the most experienced professionals in the stock market, but Jordan Reid, a student on MSc Finance, was particularly close with his estimation and won the prize.
Students also practiced the art of negotiating by taking part in some role-playing as stock buyers and sellers. This practical application of trading gave them a taste of their potential daily job and the training session linked the theoretical knowledge the students have gained in their classes to the challenges they might face in their professional careers. For some students, the dynamic training provided by Tracey-Paul Clark revealed new ideas for career paths that they may not have previously considered.
At the end of the training, the Finance Masters students left with a certificate of attendance from the London Stock Exchange Group that will prove valuable in their search for a career but more importantly, the expertise and insights that will help them to choose the best career path for themselves.
Wahida Yaakub, one of the Heriot-Watt PhD students who organised the trip said the training helps students gain “an idea of what future careers you can have in the area of investment management and does not only benefit investment students, it benefits finance and accounting students”.
Raed Alhelal, one of the organisers, was extremely pleased with the trip and excited to hear the news that Heriot-Watt would soon have its own Trading Simulation Room, saying,
“I'm so excited about the Trading Simulation Room. Finance programmes at Heriot-Watt are among the top in the UK so I'm not surprised that the university will have this trading simulation room”.
After the training, students had lunch at the Happenstance restaurant, next to the LSE. It was a great time to share each other's experiences and for many of students, it was a great opportunity to visit the historical monuments of London. These couple of hours in a friendly atmosphere behind the scenes of the LSE allowed students from different programmes and countries to create tight links between them.
Reflecting on the trip, Nazgul Suieumaganbetova from MSc Finance and Management, felt it will benefit her in her planning for her future career, saying,
“We saw how the stock exchange works in reality with some case studies. Since I'm planning to work in Financial Analysis, it will be helpful”.
Mark, a student on MSc Economics, banking and Finance, added: 'Today's programme benefited us a lot and allowed us to apply our theoretical knowledge to real life examples. I feel like this will benefit my career as well, as like most of us, I will want to work in the financial services.'