25% MBA is done, What have I Learnt so far ?

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Time flies really quick when you do an MBA. A crazy, hectic 4 months in my life and I enjoyed every bit of craziness, ups and downs that it gave me. Yes, we are done with our first term final exam as of yesterday.

I wanted to summarise all that I learnt so far.

Integrative thinking @ Rotman

Rotman is known for Integrative thinking and a well integrated curriculum. That was reflected in each and every class that I attended.  For example, we had a whole day solving a case for 2 courses in foundation term (Data modeling and Model based decision making). That was one of our assignments in Foundation term. But in our first term, we had “Statistics for managers” which took the same case and showed how to solve the case using statistical tools. It was interesting to learn that, the same problem that you solved few months ago could be solved in a better way using stats.

I often hear one prof refering to class taken by other prof. Prof Womack who teaches us finance keeps referring to something like this “I hope you have learnt about EBITDA from Prof Dragan (accounting prof) yesterday, we are going to use the same for stock valuation “. One other day it was like “You will learn tomorrow from your Stats prof how to do regression, but this beta risk of the stock is arrived at using that method” .

The best example is the Financial accounting exam that I had 2 days ago. The question was more like “how reporting some xyz loss in a company’s financial statement will affect the stock price of that company”. Here I needed to use my knowledge on how to value stock using DCF, which i learnt in finance class and apply that to accounting. End of every course, we provide a course evaluation feedback and 1 question is to rate on “how integrated was this course with other courses”.

I am learning a holistic picture of how all these that I learnt, work together in solving a business problem, rather than just understanding them in silos.

What I learnt in foundation term

Foundation term was a quick 1 month term and it got me to learn the basics. With a huge focus on big data nowadays, people here believe that the business problems that we will solve in next few years , will more and more be using data.

Integrated data modelling, Model based decision making gave me that head start. Now I know , how to model a business problem with data and arrive at a best decision using these methods and frameworks that I learnt.

We had a basic micro economics course which for engineers like me is a completely new learning. We had a course in business ethics and the exam part was to present a real world example where business ethics was not followed and analyse on what is the right thing.

What I learnt in First term

Statistics was my favourite subject. It was rather more interesting as it was less of statistics and more of “Statistics for managers”. As a manager, we will be making decisions based on lot of data analytics and this course is the foundation for all that. Few 2nd years who did their internship as business analyst, told me that stats was the one they were using everyday in their work. It was interesting to learn the similar view from a graduated student who now works at big consulting firm.

The industry needs more and more people who understand data analytics. PERIOD.

Finance: I was skeptical about the Finance course when it started in Nov. I am passionate about Tech, entrepreneurship and I thought finance course would be not valuable for me. But by end of this course ,I see how important it is to me now.

It was not just Finance course but “Finance valuation”. Before the first day of class, we had an assignment to value our Rotman MBA. That’s prof Womack’s style of teaching.  Whoever you are, he will MAKE you  LEARN finance. PERIOD. (Rotman admits , you will understand what i am talking about, in next year in his class).  I learnt how to make best managerial decisions in a company about risk management, lending and raising capital. The best thing was using Black schole’s option pricing model to value a project. Something like “should you start developing property right now or later” and as well as valuing a startup. Rather not just knowing how bonds, stocks are traded, this is a real world application.

Accounting: My thought before attending this course was “If I needed some accounting help , I will look for an accountant. why should MBA learn accounting?”. But now my perspectives are a lot different. The Scotiabank case which I mentioned in previous post , is about read world application of accounting.

From the knowledge I learnt so far, MBAs need to read financial statements for

  • valuing a company (Investment bankers , M&A deals),
  • Stock valuation (Sales and Trading),
  • assessing company’s performance (Management consultants)
  • Risk management (Corporate finance guys)
  • Cost comparative analysis of competitors (Strategy , Marketing)

Strategy:  This is the fun class everyone wants to attend. Before class we need to read a case which we will be discussing in the class.  It was really interesting to learn lot of frameworks. This is the only final exam I enjoyed writing. We had to analyse a taxi app company that is trying to expand to US market, using frameworks we learnt and answer questions on the strategies. That was fun.

Apart from this, I learnt a lot through SDL lab, Clubs, competitions which I will cover under other posts.

Wow, after 4 months, this is my first weekend were I don’t have any plans for preparation for study/assignment/quizzes or case competitions 🙂

Now I have time to go around Toronto, BUT it is predicted to be “freezing rain” ( I dont know whatever that means, but I feel first experiences are always fun). So while enjoying my first freezing rain , I will keep blogging more about entrepreneurship, Rotman parties an Self development courses @ Rotman.

And thats my section pic below:

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