By Nash Wills, Co-Editor
“The IBIC is your friend.” This is a lesson that, although it probably took me too long, I eventually learned during my tenure here in the desert. It’s also a lesson that many students never learn, and it’s the reason why I’m writing this article today. If you ever need to prepare for an interview, get caught up on current events, find valuable information for a consulting job, or do research for a class project, the library has both the people and the resources you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. In what follows, I’m going to describe some of those people and resources, and talk a little about how you can make them work for you. So, for returning and new students alike, fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds and take advantage of the IBIC while you’ve still got it, because if you’re still using Google search, then you’re doing something wrong.
When I think of the IBIC, 3 people come to mind. The first is Allison Leaming. If you haven’t met her yet then you should, because unbeknownst to you, you’re already falling behind. Allison is the full-time librarian at the IBIC and she can tell you everything you could want to know about the library and the knowledge that it houses. She is from Canada and boasts a diverse background that includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics, International Development, and Library and Information Studies, and several years of work experience at a hedge fund on Wall Street. If you ever plan on doing a GCL, a TEM Lab, or the organizational consulting practicum, she will be your unspoken teammate, assisting with research on all projects.
The second and third names that come to mind are Melanie Schneeflock and Shane Hunt, the Library Information Specialist and Operations Supervisor, respectively. They are the duo that keeps the IBIC running. If you ever need any help locating something, using a database, or figuring out where to start your research, they’re your people. Ever wanted to check out an expensive textbook for an extended period of time? Well, with their help, through the “borrow it now” program with ASU and reciprocal universities, you can now do just that. Do you consider yourself to be cosmopolitan? The IBIC has got you covered—it boasts an impressive collection of international fiction along with an abundance of multilingual films. Think you’re an art aficionado? Well it just so happens that Dean Warner from the class of 57’ was an international art dealer and he parks some of his collection from every continent at the IBIC year round. Enjoy glimpsing into the history of Thunderbird? Some of the photo archives and all the T-bird yearbooks are at your disposal. The list goes on and Shane and Melanie are the ones who can point you in the right direction, so stop by sometime and introduce yourself.
The best thing about Allison, Melanie, and Shane though: They are great people who are fun to talk with and are more than willing to help out on anything that you find yourself working on. Always remember that one of the benefits of Thunderbird is that we are a small, tight-knit community, and the IBIC is no exception to this. It is a place where you can receive one-on-one, personalized assistance—use it to your advantage.
From personal experience, and after having asked Allison her opinion on the most useful resources and databases that the IBIC has to offer, I now present to you, for your researching pleasure, the top 6 best IBIC resources:
The Bloomberg Terminal: If you turn left when you enter the IBIC and go all the way back to where the Writing Center is, you will see a room with a roundtable of computers. What upon first glance may just seem to be another study room is actually much more: The Bloomberg Terminal. Who needs a summer internship when you can play the odds in the stock market right in your own back yard? The system is no joke. It’s provided to us for an annual subscription fee of $20,000, and is the ultimate financial and market analysis tool. You can track market data in real-time, receive news from across the entire Bloomberg Professional Services network, and even place trades on the electronic trading platform. It takes a little practice to get used to, but once you play around with it for a little while, you will never do research without it again. It’s also a solid piece of résumé eye candy if you can operate it. The sequel to The Wolf of Wall Street might yet be filmed on campus, and you could be the next star.
Investext: Provided by Thomson Research, this database provides in-depth full-text investment firm and brokerage house research reports. The reports are presented in their original image format, including charts and graphs. This information is critical for strategic planning, competitive analysis, and M&A activity. It’s the highest quality database that you can use for industry and company research. In the words of Allison: “It is intelligent and is made by the best analysts. It’s all of the stuff that these Wall Street guys know.”
Mergent Intellect: This database provides company profiles, industry overviews, news articles, and even job postings for the North American and international markets. It is a great resource for basic company and industry research.
The Economist Intelligence Unit: This resource provides data and forecasts about political, economic, and business climates of various regions in up to 200 countries as well as related news, analysis, and risk factor assessments. The database includes the online version of the Country Report series, the Financial Services Report series, Country Commerce, ViewsWire, the Economist, Global Outlook, and selected Country Forecast series.
ABI Inform: This database includes articles from thousands of English-language publications worldwide covering business, management, and related areas as well as case studies, annual reports, country reports, industry reports, commodity reports, conference papers, and dissertations. It is a business aggregator and can supply the largest range of sources. Through this database you can get access to the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Economist, and all of the other top journals out there. You can even format the database so that it delivers your own personalized resources. Allison told me “instead of Google you should just be using this.”
Passport: This online database is based off of Euromonitor content. It is an integrated online information system containing information about key business intelligence on countries, companies, markets, and consumers. In total it covers over 350 markets and 207 countries. The information in this database comes from top-of-the-line analysts who produce consumer industry market reports, reference books, company profiles, current market data, market forecasts, competitor intelligence, market and trends analysis, mergers and acquisitions research, and statistical data analysis. As Allison described it to me, “this is where you can get all of the latest reports on baby food consumption in Chile.”
Before I close, I would like to add a little something to the debate over why the IBIC doesn’t stay open later. Fact: over the past 2 years, the total number of people at closing time is always counted and there have never been more than 4 people in the library at that time. Be the change you want to see in the world people. For the library to increase its hours there has to be a valid reason.
Feature Photo courtesy of Das Tor News