Open Outcry Experience: Stevens Business in Chicago


Blog post and photos provided by Derek Mulvey ’12

The best part about studying Business at Stevens Institute of Technology is that we are surrounded by the heart of the business world.  We get so many opportunities to see how business works, and how what we learn in the classroom can be related in the real world.  On March 23rd, 2012, myself and 3 other Stevens students, Tom Rakus, Chelsea Shupe, and Ryan Bridge, got the opportunity to go to Chicago to participate in an Open Outcry Competition.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is one of the few places left in the United States where financial products are trades the “old fashion way,” yelling and screaming.  We spent the first half of the day learning about what they do at the Exchange, and what career opportunities there were for us rising students.  We got an opportunity to eat lunch with some of the professionals, and also a chance to exchange information with possible employers.

Then it came down to the competition.  As the four of us along with 96 other students from around the country listened to each and every instruction, we realized that we had gone over the majority of the information in our BT 430 Derivatives class.  We realized that we learned all about how the market move and how to trade these futures and options.

And then the competition began.  It was 25 college students at a time in the “pit” buying and selling future contracts.  Every second was filled with screaming and tearing paper.  We all had seen how electronic trading worked in previous classes, but this was the real deal.  Every round lasted about 15 minutes, and half the students were cut after each round.  Stevens was generous enough to send the four of us to Chicago, so we wanted to make it worthwhile.  All four of us finished in the top half, with myself and Chelsea Shupe finishing in the top 10 (Chelsea Shupe came in 5th place). 

It’s experiences like this that make each one of us remember that Stevens cares about our development and success inside and outside the classroom.  I can safely say that less than 1% of people will ever get to experience the rush and adrenalin that pumped through our bodies during that competition.  On behalf of all four of us, I would like to thank Professor Gousgounis for properly preparing us and taking us to Chicago, Dean Murphy for allocating the funds for us, and Stevens Institute of Technology for making it all possible.


Blog post provided by Nicole Serino ’13

I am sure you are all waiting to hear how our Phi Beta Lambda Stevens Chapter did this past weekend at New Jerseys State Leadership Conference. This year the competition was fiercer than ever having more students participating than ever before. But I have to say, our Stevens competitors brought their game!

Our day started off at the Stevens gatehouse at 6:00am sharp. We took 2 path rides, one long train ride and a taxi ride before arriving at Mercer County College in West Windsor, NJ. This conference however is not all about the competition and beating each other out in different business-oriented events. It is all about networking. Who knows, some of these future business leaders could be my co-worker in the future. In between competitions, NJ PBL offered all of the participant’s fun seminars and networking worships along with a catered lunch and dinner. Although we did not get back to campus until around 11:30 that night, it was sure worth it for all of us.

The Stevens chapter of PBL walked away with 6 different honors out for the 10 members who attended. Although last year might have had better statistics with everyone walking home with at least one award, I’d say we didn’t do too shabby! More than half of our competitors were brand new to PBL this year and really held their ground at the competition. I would have to say the best part of the entire day is awards at the end. Being at Stevens, everyone is just as smart as you if not smarter. Stepping out of our school, you realize how well Stevens has prepared you for the outside world. We are a lot smarter than we think! Our Chapter of PBL will be doing some events around campus this semester to try and recruit more members to be a part of this wonderful experience with us as well as supporting the March of Dimes, our national foundation. I hope you will think about joining! Please see the honors below.

Daniel Cousillas- Business Communication
Jorge Rivera Reyes – 1st Honors in Computer Applications
ShaQuill Thomas- 2nd Honors in Computer Concepts, 2nd Honors in Word Processing
Oren Herzenberg- 3rd Honors in Impromptu Speaking
Michael Lee- 1st Honors in Networking Concepts

Update: Phi Beta Lambda Competition

Phi Beta Lambda to Compete in State Competition


Blog post provided by Nicole Serino ’13

This Saturday February 25th, marks Stevens 4th year in attending Phi Beta Lambda’s Spring State Leadership Conference. Phi Beta Lambda, also known as PBL, is the collegiate version of FBLA or Future Business Leaders of America. The nation’s largest business club offers many conferences throughout the year for its members to attend, network, and compete in.

Phi Beta Lambda members at the 2009 conference.

Stevens is sending nine of our PBL members from a variety of majors to the State Spring Leadership Conference.

Members in our chapter of PBL will be competing in subjects such as Marketing Concepts, Financial Services, Word Processing, Computer Applications, Business Decision Making and much more! Competitors are allowed to compete in two events at the conference, and if they place either 1st or 2nd in the given event at a State level, they are eligible to compete at the National Conference during June.

Last Spring, six members of our PBL chapter attended the 2011 Spring State Leadership Conference. Out of our six members, every single member placed 1st or 2nd either both or one of their events, qualifying for PBL’s National Conference in Orlando, FL. I must say, this just proves the pure brilliance of the Stevens student.

The students we were competing with were from some of the state’s top business schools such as Rutgers and TCNJ. Needless to say, we kick butt every year and get some pretty nasty looks from our competitors from other schools, who all major in these subjects.

Phi Beta Lambda Winners from Stevens!

Overall, being a part of PBL is a great way to network with other students from different universities and a way to show off why you go to Stevens! Wish us luck, and tune in for the results of the conference next week!

Visit here for more information on Stevens Phi Beta Lambda.

*An update on how Stevens did at the competition will be posted next week, check it out! 

Spending Senior Year with MTV


Blog post provided by Ann DeStefano ’12
Photos provided by Pavel Tamarin ’12 

Senior year of college can be stressful enough with finishing up your degree requirements. However for my Senior Design group this has been the best part of senior year as we our working over the course of two semesters with Viacom Networks, owner of MTV.

The MTV Senior Design group heading to Viacom headquarters NYC

Comprised of myself and classmates Joelle Rusin, Eric Yando, Anthony Roden, Haley Bayer, Sarah Byrne and Pavel Tamarin, the group is tackling the issue of interactive television engagement. Our client, Joe Lalley a Vice President at Viacom Networks, is  looking to integrate nearly 15 different Viacom networks including that of MTV, Comedy Central and Spike into one app for tablets and smartphones to engage users with live television events.

All seniors within the B&T program, are to complete a 2-semester long Business Consulting in Design curriculum where student groups pair up with an external client to address strategic business problems. The newly revamped curriculum offers more personalized attention and time with the professor as well as opportunities for feedback. Fellow group member and senior Joelle Rusin ’12 found these changes to be of great benefit.

“We are able to learn from each others’ projects and take a deeper dive into our own projects and concerns during our one-on-one meetings.”

So far the group has spent the semester researching what competitor networks like ESPN, ABC and NBC do to engage audiences mainly through applications and social media like Twitter. Some prototypes of possible applications have been created with features like roll overs, polls, interactive hosts and more. One idea the group had was to be able to watch the MTV VMA’s on your iPad using the application with a virtual host. This host would guide your way through the show. Also the user will have the ability to roll over celebrity outfits and see what designers they are wearing. Another feature could be switching your camera angles to see where different celebrities are sitting in the audience so, as a viewer, you could watch an awards show from multiple camera views.

Joelle notes, that this particular senior design project was a great opportunity, as the media industry is different than the internships many of us have previously held.

Getting ready for a presentation at MTV

“The opportunity to work in a different industry has perks as well. I never would have considered the possibilites of working outside the world of financial services without this first-hand experience. I think the opportunities within the new Senior Design structure are vast and students can really benefit from it.”

The business implications of our project could be very vast as well. This possible multi-brand application could increase viewership and potentially advertising revenues for MTV.

“Helping to increase MTV’s live viewership is extremely rewarding, especially when we see a large company like MTV executing our ideas,” Joelle adds.

Another interesting perk is that since we are working with Viacom, owner of Comedy Central, the group was able to go to a taping of “The Daily Show” with our client.

Not a bad way to spend senior year at Stevens!

A Morning at the NYSE with Mark Cuban!


Photos and blog post provided by Ann DeStefano, Business & Technology ’12

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend an event hosted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and mtvU about inspiring young entrepreneurs to create their own futures. The event was based on the annual “Movers and Changers” contest which awards $25,000 in seed money to a winning, college oriented, idea. Being able to go was as simple as applying via e-mail to mtvU where my two friends and I were awarded front row seats to a panel featuring Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur, Alexandra Wilkis Wilkinson, founder of Gilt Groupe and Charlie Chanaratsopon, CEO of Charming Charlie.

Mark Cuban at the NYSE Panel

The event was moderated by CNBC’s Bill Griffith who I was able to snag a photo with afterwards! The event started out with a panel discussion where the rather infamous Mark Cuban discussed a fear of failure not even being an option in business. Interestingly enough, Cuban told of his first real failed idea which involved an evaporated milk business. Wilkinson told her story of starting the now famous Gilt Groupe and the challenges of building a business from the ground up. The Charming Charlie business is becoming a fast growing franchise expanding overseas centered around a one-stop shop retail presence.

The two groups of finalists hailed from UPenn – Wharton and Howard University. Coincidentally, I ended up sitting next to the winning group’s (UPenn) mother and brother. The idea, ‘SkillHub’ is an online platform for college students (and any groupof people in general) to share skills and talents through an online community.

Check out the video from the event streamed online as well as commentary from Mark Cuban and others!


Blog post and photos provided by Samantha Gates, Business & Technology ’14

To give a little background, I am from Wilmington, North Carolina- a beachy, southern area. I had never been to NYC, or anywhere northeast before visiting Stevens. For majority of my life I swore I would go to University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) just like my mom and dad, who have taken me to football and basketball games since I was 3 months old.

Sunrise over the Hudson River - one of the many views at Stevens.

So how did I end up at Stevens?

As I got older I really got in to playing volleyball and decided I would want to play in college. As my recruiting process started, I still swore I wouldn’t go north of Virginia, west of Tennessee, and south of Georgia. I was staying down South where I could always get sweet tea. Randomly, NJIT sent letters to myself and a couple of girls on my team so my mom asked a lady she knew about the school. The lady is actually a Stevens alum and suggested I look into Stevens rather than NJIT because of the location and education.

After a few phone calls and a trip to NYC, I was set. Everything I always stood by and imagined for myself completely changed. However, this decision became the best I could ever make.  Being on the volleyball time, I have truly made friends for a lifetime.

Also being on the volleyball team I became a part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) which has representatives from each varsity team to make decisions on NCAA rulings as well as to meet with and have a good relationship with the Athletic Department to make things better for athletes.

I also decided to join a sorority (another thing I thought I’d ever do) to make more girlfriends. However it’s been more than just making friends, it helps me get more involved around the school and even gives opportunity for community service as well as more sources for help when it comes to school and jobs.

Being over 500 miles away from home was definitely a hard adjustment at first, especially with no family or friend connections and I only met a few girls on the team on my recruit visit. Luckily it didn’t take long to start passing familiar faces and for professors to say “hi” outside of the classroom. Plus, it’s always surreal to look across the water and realize one of the biggest cities in the world is so close. Especially when your professors tell you all of their connections to businesses in the city and their start-ups.

I know I want to concentrate in Finance and am currently, really enjoying accounting. This summer I hope to get my first internship and I know Stevens has the resources to make it possible.

Finding Yourself @ Stevens

Bon Voyage! Bonjour Paris!


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Blog post and photos provided by Krystal Perkins, Business & Technology ’13

Moving to Paris has been a whirlwind of adventure.   Studying abroad at the American University of Paris has engrossed me into a cultural melting pot of students of over 43 countries.  I can say hello in 20 languages now!

Previous to arriving in Paris, I wanted to take advantage of my European excursion so I decided to plan a 6 week backpacking trip around Turkey, Greece, Germany, Slovenia, and Croatia.  Last year I backpacked around eight countries of Europe in 2 months so I was ready to rough it. The way I travel is the cheapest way possible for the max amount of fun.  So in this case our accommodations consisted of Greek grandmother’s homes, beaches, tents, caves, hostels, hotels, and couch surfing.

Couch surfing is an online community of world travelers that provide accommodations in ones homes to other world travelers that want to engage in the local culture.  Not only do you get to leave the country a touristic experience but also with an international friend. I have met the most amazing people this way from scientists to engineers, and musicians.

Paris has been a charm. I lucked out with housing and get to wake up to a small view of the tip of the Eiffel Tower.  Living the Parisian life and enthralling myself into the culture of cuisine, nightlife, and fashion has been such a wonderful experience.  I love seeing the stereotypical Parisian hold a baguette in one hand and a newspaper in the other. People here are so friendly and the way of life is exceptionally different from America’s back home.

I find the different teaching styles the most intriguing.  Right now I am taking International Business, International Business Law, Entrepreneurship and Intensive Beginners French.   All of my professors are of European decent and I can see their cultural background expressed through how they teach to the class.  For example in my international business class, the professor teaches more of the philosophy of culture and how this philosophy interacts with business transactions and globalization.

As for my other classes we compare the general view of American individualism versus socialistic views and how other countries in the European Union work with each other. I personally relate to these classes more because we study different efficient processes and ways of thinking. My learning experiences as well as my social interactions in the classroom have been a rewarding experience.

So basically, I love Paris.

Céad míle fáilte! Stevens goes to Ireland!


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Blog post and photos provided by Kelsey Reynolds, Business & Technology ’12

There is no better way to describe the Irish people than with this saying, which means “100,000 welcomes”.   From our first time stepping onto the AirCoach (or Blue Bus as the locals call it) to our last walk through the airport security, the experience was something that I would never trade or forget.

From day one we were constantly busy, immersing ourselves into the daily lives of the Irish and experiencing as much as we could.  UCD orientation was great, city centre walking tours and shopping trips allowed us to meet other students and become more comfortable in our surroundings before classes started.  Classes are much different than here at Stevens, mostly the sizes!  Here we are used to classes of 30-45 students (except those few lectures freshman year), but in Ireland there could be up to 200 students in your class!  There is much more lecturing and theoretical application than we are used to, but with our analytical minds it was easy to apply the lessons to my own life and even classes we are currently taking.

The Quinn School (their business school) did a great job organizing events and trips for the study abroad students in the program.  We had trips to the Guinness Factory, Glendalough and Belfast as well as a dinner to the Arlington Hotel for traditional food and entertainment and a farewell dinner (again with traditional food and entertainment).  Along with our Irish History class we had even more opportunities to go on trips as well.  We visited a museum in town, Christ Church and Dublina to tie together our in-class learning with the history available within the city.  One of my favorite trips was to Kilmainham Gaol, which is Ireland’s most famous prison.  During the rebellion years (which were less than 100 years ago), the leaders of the IRB and other famous rebels were held in this prison.  Seeing the cells and getting to walk around the grounds was really interesting.  Fun fact, U2 filmed a music video there and many films have been filmed there as well.

Dublin is the largest city in the Republic of Ireland by far, although the smaller towns such as Galway and Cork are just as fun and exciting.  One of my favorite things to do in Dublin was to sit in St. Stephens Green with coffee and a bagel (or on warmer days an ice cream).  There are so many great places to lounge out but the area near the playground was my favorite, watching the little kids playing and having the group of people next to you playing music and singing is something that was calming and quickly became my favorite part of any week.  Through friends we made, we also discovered a fair on Thursdays and Fridays along the river that served amazing food (if you can’t already tell, I loved the food there).  We would go every week for the paella, steak sandwiches and amazing desserts.

Europe has a large sporting world that revolves around football (soccer to us), hurling and rugby.  There were many important events while we were there including the 6 Nations Rugby tournament between Ireland, England, Scotland, etc.  Watching the match with the locals was one of the greatest times I had during the four month span, this is where I got the greatest sense of nationalism, everyone was supportive of the nation (especially since I saw the Ireland/England match!).  The local rugby team is Leinster, they practice once a week at UCD and their home field was a short bus ride from campus, so it was common to run into a player.  A few of us went to a match in February, and then we became hooked on the game.  These games were always fun and we always had a fantastic time.  This is something that I have kept up with upon my return to the states, just a little reminder of the fun I had while studying abroad.

One thing that we all definitely took advantage of was the ability to travel.  With our class schedule we were able to take a fair amount of trips to other parts of Ireland and continental Europe.  Having the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures is one of the draws of the Study Abroad program; I got such an appreciation for others and have great memories from all over the world.

Going abroad was one of the best experiences I could have ever asked for.  Not only did I learn in the classroom but by meeting new people and doing things I never thought imaginable, I found that I have a new appreciation for things and have a greater understanding of the world.

Slán go foil! (Goodbye for now)