December 16, 2023

By Claire Curry

When Michael Levine ’22 discovered the Bloomberg terminals in the trading room at Apfelbaum Hall, he quickly decided to learn how to use the popular financial software tool he had heard so much about and even seen on TV.

“I made it my goal to experiment, and once I started using the terminal, that’s where my personal journey began. It’s the key to a whole new world,” Levine says, pointing out that it not only provides data about the financial markets, but much more, including up-to-the–minute, worldwide news.

So captivated by the breadth of information this resource puts at his fingertips, Levine set his sights on becoming Bloomberg certified, an opportunity made possible by the Sigmund Weis School of Business.

The certification was pivotal in giving Levine an edge in landing an internship at Bloomberg LP — where he now works full time as a senior portfolio and risk analyst. “I’m using the Bloomberg [terminal] every single day,” he says.

The business school added a guarantee of Bloomberg certification so all business students graduate with this valuable credential on their résumés. According to James Pomykalski, associate professor and department head of finance and analytics at Susquehanna’s Sigmund Weis Business School, the program has been incorporated into Data Collection and Modeling, a course requirement for all business majors. Usually taken in the third semester, it trains students to think about data and to use various tools that they’ll need throughout their careers.

What’s more, students will need to achieve Bloomberg certification in order to pass the class. To do so, students must complete a series of four video modules on economic indicators, currencies, fixed income and equities. It takes eight hours to complete, and students must earn a score of 70% or higher on quizzes built into each module.

“We decided that we needed to give our students a leg up in the job market,” Pomykalski says. “The idea was to give them at least some exposure to and familiarity with Bloomberg terminals so they could then be used as part of not only the Introduction to Finance course, a finance reporting class, but any other finance classes beyond that.”

In addition to preparing students for finance courses, the Bloomberg terminals are a resource for other areas of study as well.

“It’s really the mother lode of data,” says Peter Dadalt, assistant professor of finance and analytics. “There’s a lot of long-term utility to this, not just for finance majors, but to students in all majors. The additional benefit is it signals to a [potential] employer that the student gets it, that they understand that these are the sorts of things they have to be invested in to succeed in their careers.”

Susquehanna has a total of 16 Bloomberg terminals — 12 in the trading room in Apfelbaum Hall and another four in the library — accessible to all students for use on homework assignments, special projects and research of their own.

Being Bloomberg certified is also an asset in today’s job market. “Our students are most interested in getting internships and jobs,” Dadalt says. “One of the things that makes the Bloomberg terminal so cool is that you can contact anybody who is on the system directly, so students have the potential to use it for networking.”

They can also use it to prepare for interviews, to get the latest news on an organization, information about its competitors, and major trends in the industry. “You can get real business intelligence out of this, not just financial information. Give students an hour on it and they could be fully prepared for an interview,” he adds.

Dadalt, who teaches a class on fixed income and oversees the River Hawk Fund, the investment portfolio of the Student Government Association, frequently takes his students to the Bloomberg terminals to do research. He said that it’s not typical for a school of Susquehanna’s size to have 16 Bloomberg terminals.

“My guess is that there are very few schools that have more per capita than Susquehanna because most schools of our size don’t have a terminal, and if they do, they have the minimum,” he says. “I’m constantly amazed at the kind of resources that we’re able to provide for our students. We tend to punch way above our weight class.”

The Bloomberg terminals arrived on campus in 2014, courtesy of funding from generous donors. Since then, hundreds of students have used them and earned certification. The requirement will not only increase this number dramatically, but will also ensure that the business school turns out graduates who are equipped to land jobs and hit the ground running.

Hailey Bowden ’25, a finance major from Snow Hill, Maryland, who earned her Bloomberg certification in 2021, said that like Levine, she also learned about the tool in her first year at Susquehanna.

“I was genuinely intrigued and I quickly grasped the immense value of becoming Bloomberg certified,” she says. “With the abundance of information at my fingertips, it became evident how valuable this certification could be for conducting research, completing class assignments and collaborating on group projects.”

The future financial analyst added that the Bloomberg terminals became her “second home. The knowledge and skills I gained have been immeasurable, and I firmly believe they will continue to serve me well beyond my time at Susquehanna.”