Last year I was approached by a Business School to discuss/support the deployment of a new Investment Center at the University — a showcase laboratory for use by B-School students to enhance their hands-on skills with financial tools and platforms used in the real world.
While I could immediately envision the transformation potential this center offered the faculty — I was not a fan of this idea as the right technological solution for students. Its a mobile world, today’s student needs tools they can carry in their pockets and I feel the construction of a physical place is a race to catch up with yesterday.
Sure there are some economies of scale (eg., Bloomberg terminal subscriptions are financially out of reach for each college student) and it would be a fabulous recruiting showcase — but if our goal is to teach students to immerse themselves in day-to-day use I suggest we develop a standard set of mobile apps that they should load and use on their iPhones (yes – they all use iPhones – get over it).
Here’s my list of Mandatory MBA Apps:
Stocks (installed by Apple on base iPhone) – build and track indexes and portfolios
HP12C Calculator ($14.99) – you already know why
eTrade Mobile Pro (free) – real time quotes and low cost trading platform
CNBC RT (free) – good intraday news source
Bloomberg (free) – tons of interesting articles about US and overseas markets and stocks
WSJ (free base edition – $100/year for full on-line access) – again you already know why
Currency (free) – FX exchange rate conversions
Amortize (free) – fast amortization calculations and schedules
FT Mobile (free) – the EU financial news source
Morningstar (free base edition – $179/year for full on-line access) – mutual fund info and reviews
LinkedIn (free) — yes they need a business profile and social network
Bump (free) – business card/contact info exchange program
Load these apps up — make students do exercises based on these apps (in and out of the classroom) — and you’ll be surprised at how good they get at using real world sources and tools (when they’re not on Facebook, Foursquare, Pandora, Groupon or IMDb).