PRISM advances to help business students

With the arrival of its 25th anniversary at Wilfrid Laurier, PRISM Laurier, which provides information and technology training and services to business and economics students, has undergone a significant overhaul with the goal of offering students efficient and up-to-date workspaces.

New technology, the latest equipment and even a Bloomberg workstation, which is the technology that allows students to access the world financial markets, have been placed in PRISM labs to provide Laurier with the best possible resources for both individual and group projects.

The PRISM labs have been remodeled from rows of computers and plain walls to a brightly colored and decorated room with separate workstations allowing for groups to sit together around one monitor.

“Any sort of collaborative or group projects you can do, the monitor is on an arm so everyone gets involved in the process,” said Ken Davie, vice-president of PRISM Laurier. “It allows for maximum collaborative space.”

Business students pay a $65 fee each term to be a PRISM member.

Many students feel that the cost is reasonable for the facilities and equipment provided.

“I use [the labs] fairly often; me and my roommates do go there,” said fourth-year business student Ben.

Many students take advantage of the resources offered, but they can opt out if they do not wish to use the labs.

“First year I didn’t know I could opt out. Second year I did opt out and this year I actually have to use it because my laptop is broken,” said fourth-year business student Brad.

“I think the options are good … but sometimes it’s pretty busy.”

In addition to group workstations in the lab, there is also a Bloomberg station. This computer technology, the “BlackBerry of financial tools,” described Davie, allows students to quickly and easily access financial information from any world market.

The MBA department is now working with the undergraduate department to develop training classes to teach students how to use Bloomberg. These classes will also be certified by the Laurier Center for Financial Research.

“A lot of companies in the financial industry, they use these tools, so for you to come into a company and on your resume be able to say ‘I’m Bloomberg certified’ … it separates you from other students that are applying,” said Davie.