by Sarah Small
Five futures traders, all alumni, were honored at a dedication ceremony in the Market Information Lab located in the Business Instructional Facility, Wednesday afternoon.
Alumni Scott Bauer ’88, Jeffery Carter ’84, Yra Harris ’75, Paul Richards ’86 and John Stotts ’99 were recognized at the dedication, and participated in a traders forum where they spoke to current business students about what to expect in the real world of trading futures.
Each of the alumni in attendance had donated one of their original trader jackets to the college. The jackets were unveiled at the dedication and now hang in the MIL.
“It’s kind of a nice touch,” said Carter. “It’s important to recognize how many ILLINOIS graduates worked and traded on the floor and what kind of influence they had.”
The event was sponsored by the Finance Club and the College of Business Development Office.
Sarah McGinniss, president of the Finance Club and senior in finance, said the traders forum is one of the events the club sponsors each year. The goal in the club-sponsored events is to help students connect with notable alumni with real-world experience and to give them insight into different career fields, she said.
“Our job is to make students aware of the great things alumni have done and to bring them to where the alumni are,” McGinniss said.
Martin Maurer, visiting associate director of the lab, said the event was a good opportunity for students to interact with actual traders and for the college to express its appreciation to the donors who helped make the lab a reality.
“We’ve got them all here to say ‘thanks,'” Maurer said.
The lab, which opened in February 2009, is a good place for students interested in futures trading to explore the field. For the first time next week, student will have the opportunity to use a trading simulator that mimics the real-world experiences of traders, just without real money on the line. Maurer said the simulator can run any compilation of past stock data and the students can trade against those historic prices.
Currently, the lab offers tutorials independent of the curriculum that allows students to use the lab and apply the theories they learned in the classroom. Maurer said he is also working with faculty to integrate the tools and resources of the lab into the classroom.
At the traders forum, an overlying theme of the discussion was how the industry has changed with the onset of electronic trading. The traders also discussed the qualities that make successful traders; a trader must know himself, his needs and his personality. He must recognize his strengths and use them for his best advantage in a very competitive field.
Carter said he welcomed the opportunity to be back at the University and to provide students with experience from the field.
“It makes a difference just to talk to the kids and tell them what life is like,” Carter said. “It really makes a big difference.”
by Sarah Small