Update #4

Although, I was unable to attend the introductory presentation to kick off the Research Rookies program I have been staying on task with my actual research. I met with Dr. Zhou yesterday whereupon he gave me the bond rating data for the last 5 years culled from Morningstar. At first I was overwhelmed by the large amounts of data, but I realized I could use the skills I had learned in my OM&IS class to thoroughly and efficiently comb through the material. I am currently brainstorming different ideas for examine/organizing the data, and I trust that this will not only improve my excel skills, but my analytical thinking abilities as well.

-John

Update #4

Update #3

Things have been going well with my research project thus far. I have met with Dr. Zhou regarding the the topic, and I am well equipped to compose the rough draft of my research proposal. The most challenging aspect of drafting the rough draft will be researching bonds further to develop my background understanding, and help me better understand the eventual results of the project. I am especially intrigued by our research, because the bond ratings industry has been relatively standard until the recent introduction of the Fitch Rating Service. Our analysis of the Fitch rating will provide relevant & actionable information to investors.

Update #3

Decision Time

The past few weeks have been largely uneventful. Multiple professors have been unable to fit Research Rookies into their already busy schedules, so in the end it was a relief when I learned that Dr. Lei Zhou would be able to accommodate me. I will be performing research on the rating system used for bonds, but the exact details have yet to be worked out. The next step is finalizing everything with Dr. Zhou, which I hope to have done by this Friday. I am not zealous about the topic, but I have enough interest in the field to where I will not be bored. Overall, I think this is a good opportunity to hone my research abilities, and then move on to research that is more scintillating in my upcoming years.

Decision Time

About Me

My name is John Stavropoulos and I am a freshman from Naperville IL majoring in English and Finance. Although it has only been a week my time at Northern has been incredibly exciting. I enjoy the diversity of NIU’s faculty and students; there are people from all walks of life with a variety of interests. This unique combination of individuals makes the organizations I am a part of even more engaging. I am involved in Tedx Niu, NIU Investment Association, and Student Leadership Council. When I’m not attending meetings, or studying I enjoy playing indoor soccer at the field house. Overall, I look forward to what is in store for me here at NIU, and trust that Research Rookies will equip me for the future.

About Me

September Update

Although I have been unable to find a faculty member to assist me, I have enjoyed my faculty interviews thus far. First I met with Professor Eubanks; he had recently completed a study regarding climate change, and although he was unable to provide me with research he did point me towards other faculty. I look forward to meeting with his recommendations, and appreciate his concern for the program. I also met with Dr. Lei Zhou. Dr. Zhou studies bonds, and is in the midst of conducting some fascinating research on the emergence of a new bond rating company, and the accuracy of its ratings. I had an interesting discussion with Dr. Zhou, but I am not sure I want to focus on bonds in lieu of ETFs and other securities. Both these professors gave me ideas for future research to pursue, or faculty members to contact. With all these possibilities floating around in my mind I am eager to see what my future interviews have in store for me.

John

September Update