From the monthly archives:

August 2010

Today I had my first class in the Fall term – Financial Markets. It was rather interesting and at times even entertaining.

Professor had eventually placed syllabus with required textbook earlier today and I was able to order it from Amazon. The book we are using in class is Financial Management: Theory & Practice 13 edition, by Brigham and Ehrhardt. As is customary for me, I was trying to get an international edition of the book from Ebay, but it was not available there, at least for now. So it cost me $146, includding shipping, from Amazon marketplace. Professor mentioned in class that we don’t have to buy the latest edition, and can get the previous one instead, as it would be much cheaper. I wish she had mentioned this in the syllabus before I ordered it :-(.

As for the textbook, Professor also said that it was essentially the same book that she had used at her graduate studies some 30 years ago. She also made a remark that the only difference is that the problems at the end of chapters are getting simpler and shorter with each edition. I am not even sure how to interpret this. Either the expectations from the students are getting more and more lax, or the authors realize with the time that they had overthought the problems in the first place and eventually get to terms with reality by making them more relevant and coincise. Whatever it is, I guess I could live with that :-) .

In the class professor gave us a general overview of the subject of Financial Management and its principal differences from the Accounting. Financial Management is all about cash and it is directed toward the future. So such thing as assets depreciation, which is in the realm of (Financial) Accounting, is basically irrelevant for Finance guys, as there is no real cash flow from this superficial accounting transaction.

As for entertaining part, Professor told us about the attitude of people working in finance towards people doing accounting. She refered to a joke about how the Swiss count cows: they count the number of legs in the herd and then divide by four. They ultimately get the correct result, but in a cumbersome and inefficient way.

So in the true spirit of Financial Management principles, I am looking forward towards the course, with expectation of payoffs, and in hope that it will be less cumbersome than what I experienced in Financial Accounting last year 😉


Today is the first day of classes at the University and official start of my second year of studies in GWU part-time MBA program. My classes however haven’t started yet. I have my first class on Tuesday. For the first module of the Fall term I have signed up for two classes: Financial Markets and Consultative Processes. Originally I had three clasees in line-up for the first module, but one of them was cancelled, apparently they did not have enough students for that particular section. So I had to make some re-arrangements in my schedule last week. So instead of 9 credits I initially planned to have in Fall, I will have 7.5 again, just like in each of my terms in the first year.

Professor for the Consultative Processes has already put up assigned readings for the first class on the Blackboard. From the readings for the first two classes it seems that the course is going to give a high view of the consulting field. May be there will be more “meat” later. For me, it’s still a very helpful class to get general introduction to consulting industry and see if it fits my personality as a possible career upon graduation from the MBA.

Admittedly, my current job title has “consultant” in it, but in IT field it is a bit too industry-specific and somewhat skewed. That’s why I would like to learn about other “flavors” of consultancy and hopefully get introduced to “best practices” in the industry. I also expect to be able to make some applications of the classroom knowledge to my current job and beyond.

By the way, this class on Consultative Processes is the first class I am taking from the pool of the electives. All my other classes so far have been from the core curriculum and lasted just one module resulting in 1.5 credits. This one, however, is a 3-credit semester-long class. It’s new and I am curious to see how I am going to last in the same class for the whole term :-) .

Nothing to write about Financial Markets, alas. Professor for this class has not yet placed any information on the blackboard, not even a syllabus. The class is tomorrow, on Tuesday. So if not too tired, I will post an account of the class tomorrow night.

I am glad to be in action again, both at business school and on the blog.

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