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04-28-2010

Clarkson University Business Class Teleconferences with Austrian Students to Understand International Equity Market

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/international-equity-class.jpg]

Clarkson University School of Business students are performing analysis of international equity markets by trans-Atlantic teleconferencing with their counterparts at Steyr (pronounced STIRE) University in Austria.

In a Clarkson University class co-offered at Steyr University, students regularly teleconference to discuss the world equity markets. The class is designed to promote a global understanding of the markets. Clarkson students connected with their Austrian counterparts four times throughout the spring semester using a video/audio conferencing set up. The course is an independent study class in finance.international-equity-class

"By teaming with Steyr University our students are gaining a better understanding of the European financial markets, as well as valuable global exposure," says Allan Zebedee, associate professor of economics and financial studies. "The conferencing takes place over the Internet using specialized on-line meeting software, and gives our students greater exposure to the business tools of today."

"This is the type of forward-looking activity that Clarkson wants to be known for. We are committed to ’learning by doing’ and this project fits this mantra exactly," said Timothy F. Sugrue, dean of the School of Business. "Prof. Zebedee knows how to ’defy convention.’ His commitment to projects like this is a manifestation of what makes Clarkson special: faculty members who know what students need and have a willingness to work tirelessly to provide it."

Each team is responsible for covering its own domestic equity market. The Clarkson team is tracking the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, etc. The Steyr team is tracking the European equity markets. While educating each other about their markets, the students also develop forecasts for their markets’ performance.

"It’s inevitable that our students will someday end up on international conference calls," says Zebedee. "We want them to gaining more exposure to international financial markets, and get real-world experience of how a meeting like this gets done."

"The whole experience was great," said Nicole E. Wilder, a senior financial information & analysis major from Huntington, N.Y. "I learned a lot about teamwork and the intricacies of communicating across cultural barriers. Explaining the technical terms of how our market works and understanding theirs was sometimes challenging, as we did not have the same native language. But overall I was pleased to successfully present to colleagues in a different country, and gain a new perspective on the global finance market."

Steyr University’s School of Management is already a partner with Clarkson in supply chain management, through a program organized by Prof. Farzad Mahmoodi.

Zebedee worked with Heimo Losbichler, a finance professor at Steyr, to set up this latest program. The two designed the concept of the conference class in the fall, recruited students, and designed the format for interactions.

Zebedee says that the school hopes to someday develop analyst teams across the globe, which engage in one big conference call tracking global financial markets.

The Clarkson students do have one advantage over the Steyr team, as Michael Wolfesberger, an exchange student from Steyr, is studying at the Clarkson business school for the semester and is a member of their team. He provides a valuable resource to the group, helping to analyze and clarify what they learn from Steyr.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University business students are performing analysis of the international equity market by trans-Atlantic teleconferencing with their counterparts at Steyr University in Austria. Left to right: Jonathan R. Green, Corey A. Van Lare, Michael Wolfesberger, Matthew Gammariello, David C. Goerold, Nicole Wilder, and Reon P. Curry. On the screen is Prof. Heimo Losbichler and his class from Steyr.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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