Chatham High School’s Future Business Leaders of America club (FBLA) took a field trip to New York City to visit the New York Stock Exchange and attend a lecture at the Stern School of Business at NYU on April 3.
Club leaders Matthew Raiola, James Lind, and William Hosbein organized the trip with the assistance of club supervisors and business teachers at the high school John Ahsler and Peter Steinmitz.
The students were welcomed at the exchange by Chatham High School alumnus Lauren Taylor, a public relations official, and Lafayette College graduate Anthony Zawadzki, a market data analyst. The visit began with a quick tour of the trading floor and a lesson about what different employees do at the exchange.
Students watched a live broadcast of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, standing mere feet away from the notorious firebrand Jim Cramer. Then they moved up to the balcony overlooking the trading floor, where Taylor and Zawadski elaborated on the history of the New York Exchange. In anticipation of the opening bell, the students returned to the floor where excitement buzzed about the IPO, or Initial Public Offering, of DXC Technologies (a merger between two tech companies). After trading opened, members of the FBLA witnessed Market Makers and Brokers live in action, already reacting to shifts in the market.
After leaving the exchange, the students and advisors made their way to New York University’s Stern School of Business. Here, they settled down to sit in on an MBA-level lecture on Capital Structure by world renowned economist and longtime Chatham resident Aswath Damodaran. Professor Damodaran is most famous for his published texts on Valuation, Corporate Finance, and Investment Management, and is also respected as one of the top minds of the Stern School’s impressive cast of professors.
Following the lecture, Professor Damodaran allowed the Chatham students to ask any questions they might have -- regarding either the lecture or any area of businesses they found interesting.
Known for his easily approachable demeanor, Professor Damodaran spoke on some of his personal experiences in the valuation sector, including past conversations with Snap CEO and current youngest billionaire in the world, Evan Spiegel, stressing the importance of storytelling and personal connection in business.
All of the students found Professor Damodaran extremely impressive, marveling at his ability to articulate complex ideas in simple terms through easy-to-understand analogies.
The trip as a whole was a tremendous opportunity for these students to learn about life as a business professional in New York City.
An early morning commute and an unanticipated derailment at Penn Station added to the experience, allowing students to experience the real-world implications of a job in the city. Members expressed gratitude for the opportunity to all those involved, thanking officials at the High School, the exchange, and NYU.