WWS Blog

Graduate Students Immerse Themselves in Financial Markets

Aug 13, 2015
Published by:
Public Affairs
At the end of each summer, a group of Wilson School students immerse themselves in the ins and outs of the financial market.
Now in its sixth year, the intensive three-day “Short-Course: Financial Markets for Public Policy Professionals” provides a framework for second-year Master in Public Affairs (MPA) and Master in Public Policy (MPP) students to understand the operations of financial institutions, the economic purposes they serve and the markets in which they deal. The course began in response to the financial crisis and economic recovery and provides students with an introduction to critical concepts in finance.
Organized and coordinated by the Wilson School’s Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance (JRCPPF), the course is taught by faculty from Columbia Business School (CBS) and Princeton, government officials and financial industry executives. The program includes seminars on “Understanding the Language of Finance” and “Framework for Understanding Financial Markets” with topics that include private equity, domestic and international trading and investing.
Even though Laura Zachary, MPA ’15, was interested in environmental policy, she said having a general understanding of the financial landscape is essential to any sort of policy work.
“Everything is so interconnected and I think the course is a great opportunity to understand the economic climate,” Zachary said. “I think a lot of students at the School feel this pressure to sort of pretend we understand financial markets in general, and I think the vast majority of us really don’t. So this is a very valuable experience.”
Samuel DuPont, MPA ’15, added that even though he did not have experience in financial markets, he had hoped to gain a better understanding of how financial markets work and how forces underlying the U.S. economy shape public policy and people’s lives. He anticipates the course will make students better policymakers after they graduate.
To read more on the specifics of last year's program, click here.


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