The Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA) and the Bloomberg Institute announced on Jan. 31 a partnership that will take advantage of a new online assessment tool that the company has made available to students for free.
The Bloomberg Assessment Test (BAT) is a three-hour test taken in a proctored environment at a Bloomberg office or university. Developed in collaboration with financial professionals, recruiters, and academics, the BAT measures skills and knowledge that matter to employers, said Gerald Walker, director of business development at Bloomberg.
“This is not a philanthropic business we’re in; we’re doing this because we believe there’s money to be made. But it does appeal to our philanthropic nature of, ‘Can we make markets more efficient? Can we expose people who haven’t been exposed to recruiters around the world?’” Walker said.
“We’re building a test that we try very hard to make as fair as possible, to allow people to find great students wherever they are.”
The signing ceremony, which took place at the Lincoln Center campus, was attended by David Gautschi, Ph.D., dean of GBA; business faculty members and students.
The test, which features 150 questions in 11 categories, will be given to incoming students to see how much they know about subjects such as corporate valuation, economics, financial markets, financial statements analysis, investment banking, investment management, and analytical reasoning, as well as their situational judgment and math, modeling, and verbal skills, Gautschi said.
They will be encouraged to take it again before graduation.
“We want to orient our students in programs that we are becoming rapidly known for—the M.S. in global finance, the M.S. in quantitative finance, the new master’s in investor relations, and our M.B.A. with a finance concentration—so that the students view the BAT as something that will position them successfully and prominently in the market of global finance,” he said.
The BAT is meant to be more than a gauge of talent. Although it is taken anonymously, students can request that their scores be entered into a database. If they appeal to a company that subscribes to the database, a recruiter may contact the student for a job interview.
Before taking questions from the participants, Walker demonstrated how an employer would search for someone who, for example, wants to work in New Zealand and speaks Mandarin.
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Because searches can be done without knowing what college a person attended, it should level the playing field among applicants, allowing job seekers to advance based on merit, Walker said.
Companies such as HSBC, AIG, BP, and several hedge funds subscribe to the service; at Fordham, 60 students at the Gabelli School of Business have taken the test.
The advantage for students is that they often don’t know the companies at which their skills are applicable, but companies that search the database know the needs they have to fill.
“How many people know that BP acts like an investment bank in many ways? From their point of view, they can target some interesting people,” Walker said.