Citizens Bank of Edmond finance lab to open this spring

Construction has begun on the Citizens Bank of Edmond Finance Lab in the Harvey Business Center. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

Construction has begun on the Citizens Bank of Edmond Finance Lab in the Harvey Business Center. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

The Citizens Bank of Edmond is relocating Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange to Harvey Business Center on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University.

Oklahoma Christian is partnering with Citizens Bank of Edmond to build a finance lab in the Harvey Business Center. According to Dean of the College of Business Administration Jeffery Simmons, the lab will give business students opportunities to gain experience while in college.

Construction began with a ceremony Dec. 12, where faculty members and sponsors took sledge hammers and began the process of knocking down a wall of the classroom where the lab will be located.

According to Simmons, the lab will mimic a stock market trading floor like the one on Wall Street.

“The CBE Finance Lab will have 32 trading stations, each comprised of a computer with dual-screen monitors tapped into the live market,” Simmons said. “There will also be 38 feet of a 24-pixel, full-color stock ticker running across the front of the lab, similar to the ticker now installed in the lobby of HBC. We’ll also have an 8-foot-long world clock that will mark the times of the major trading markets around the globe. In addition, our finance majors who wish to go into the banking sector will be better prepared because of the banking simulation software we plan to have in the lab. This should help them hit the ground running in their banking career.”

CBE Senior Marketing Officer Ann Chen said the main purpose of the finance lab is to provide students with hands-on, real-world experience.

“If students already have experience with the technologies, software and real-time pace of how things are going on in the real world, they can list that as part of their experience on job applications,” Chen said. “There’s a space in people’s resumes where it says ‘skills’ and then whether they write that as a skillset or they helped to trade for a group project in the finance lab, the hands-on experience will add a lot to anyone’s resume.”

Simmons said the lab will be open by spring break to all business majors and anyone who is enrolled in courses requiring research in the stock market.

“All of our majors take a principles of finance course, which could utilize the lab for various homework assignments,” Simmons said. “Also, often other courses throughout our curriculum call for our students to research publicly-held companies or various markets.”

Junior Kali Scholle said she is excited for the finance lab because it will provide opportunities for finance majors and those seeking to learn more about the stock market.

“By students getting this type of opportunity while in school, they will have the unique knowledge and experience of witnessing and working with the activity of the stock market,” Scholle said.

Simmons said he wanted the lab to be a marquee room, symbolizing the quality of Oklahoma Christian.

“The lab will pop not only from the glow of the computers, stock ticker and world clock, but from the programmable LED lights behind the acrylic modesty panels of the new desks that will be installed in the lab,” Simmons said.

CBE is sponsoring the finance lab and, according to Chen, will be involved in the future with training and teaching for the lab.

“There’s a lot of banks in Oklahoma and across the nation that are regional and larger banks and there is a place and a space for them, but the thing that sets us apart is that we invest heavily in the community around us,” Chen said. “It’s not only just part of us to write a check and call it a day, it’s also us coming in there and maybe showing students different things, or running seminars, webinars, or things like that. We’re just a very on-the-ground, community-driven organization.”

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