Great night last night with a few friends from the MBA class; we went to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival at Union Chapel in Islington:
Thursday morning, my last class is over, and that means in exactly four weeks, the spring term is done. Definitely a whirlwind, but not as fast as the fall term went. Four classes, a project, job hunting, and friends keep my bandwidth full at all times, but its been rewarding.
I didn’t travel so much over the break; back to the US, where it was unseasonably warm, for a few weeks for the holidays. I got back just before the start of the term, and was thrown into the midst of four unique classes: Advanced Corporate Finance; Mergers, MBO’s and other Corporate Reorgs; Derivatives, and Fixed Income. My background is in energy trading so I took advantage of the flexibility in the program to structure my electives in between the Corporate Finance and Quantitative Finance tracks.
Derivatives is less quantitative than one might think; the homework is all about using derivatives for their intended purposes and learning the appropriate risk. I have zero intention of working in Fixed Income, but I took it because Dr. Basak is very highly regarded, and he absolutely lives up to that billing. Advanced Corporate Finance is an ungodly amount of work, but I’ve gotten out of it what I’ve put in. Mergers, MBO’s and other Corp Reorgs is, I feel, a bit too general for MiF’s, but is good in terms of laying out qualitative concerns in transactions.
All in all, a very very busy term, but I’m hanging in. I decided not to take block weeks because I felt I could learn more in the term setting, where I don’t have to cram 9 weeks worth of knowledge into five days, and I think that is smart, for me. So, back to work for now.
Four weeks down and none the worse for wear. Intro day and the first week were a breeze; it was great to meet my classmates and small group members. Away day and the ensuing barbeque was so much fun; a really positive day with great weather and fun activities. It was great to get to know people outside of school so soon into the program.
The first few weeks of the program are mostly prep courses — accounting, statistics, and Personal Assessment and Development (PAD) — as well as a huge amount of Career Services work. The classes take up a lot of time but outside of class there is little work. Most of our free time is spent doing innumerable revisions to our CVs and cover letters in preparation for the CV book publishing date and on-campus recruiting (starting in a week and a half). We had a great class on networking. The PAD class was tremendous; we all left feeling the professor was spectacular and wishing we had more.
We’re now into the core curriculum — Financial Accounting and Analysis, Investments, and Corporate Finance — and we only have one 3-hour class each day, but more than enough work outside of class to make us constantly busy. We’ve still managed to find time to work out, see London, and spend a suitable amount of time in the Windsor Castle. The classmates who know London organize an open invitation to a different pub in London each week; great for seeing the city with people who are developing into our close friends.
Next week is an Investments mid-term. Hard to believe one month has already passed. It’ll be December in no time. Best to work hard, spend time with friends, and make the most out of the short program.