As we transition into a new year, we also embark on the next chapter of our M.S. in Commerce journey. It seems worth reflecting on all we’ve experienced in the past five months.
Five months seems like a short time, but the program has been transformational. Every student can confidently say they have:
- presented their own original business solution to a corporate executive
- programmed in languages such as SQL, R, and SPSS
- scheduled an unscripted networking call with a potential employer
- written several business memos (emphasis on several)
Powered by complimentary coffee in the grad lounge, my classmates have metamorphosed into engaging, confident professionals. Our fall classes were structured to stimulate discussion, with group work at the core of our semester. No longer bound by apprehension, everyone eagerly provides their opinions. I can’t help but marvel at how well our teams are functioning now. Skills forged in our Intro to Consulting days and further polished by Storytelling means this class is uniformly client-ready, especially when backed by flawless PowerPoints. Once you’ve braved Organizational Behavior’s unfiltered “team feedback exercises”, getting in front of an audience is a piece of cake.
The increase in our financial literacy has been equally impressive. Between Strategic Cost Management and Financial Accounting, we’ve been closely acquainted with balance sheets at both practical and conceptual levels. In team challenges we’ve examined cases of historical corporate fraud, assisted a Kenyan bag-maker in eliminating production bottlenecks, evaded domestic taxes, and learned from many more real-world cases. Thanks to Financial Management, articulating how stocks work and what it means for a company to “go public” is no longer foreign. In the Marketing & Management track, I can easily extract ratios of liquidity and leverage to appraise a company’s health, while my finance track peers can do even more advanced number-crunching.
The effects from Strategy and Systems are still trickling down; conversation on the latest business news from The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal can be heard throughout the grad lounge with more confidence than puzzlement. On the surface, we’re fluent in business terminology, but assignments like the business change memo have really challenged us to understand how managers think and represent these concepts visually. Marketing and Quantitative Analysis has taught us to tame big data and make it our ally, getting inside the minds of customers through massive Amazon surveys and turning statistical insights into compelling presentations.
The foundational classes leading up to our specializations (Business Analytics, Finance, and Marketing & Management Tracks) have prepared us for the challenges of this semester’s deep dive. Even before we undertake intensive coursework in these areas this spring, many of our classmates have already received job offers.
We’re thinking like consultants, model-building like analysts, number-crunching like accountants, and strategizing like executives. Now, as we await the integrated final to pull it all together, it’s with certainty we know that our trust in the process is being rewarded.
– Ryan Perry, Class of 2018