Understanding Finance - Executive MBA courses from a student perspective


In this blog, Executive MBA student Afnan Quadery shares her experiences from the recent Executive MBA courses Accounting for Managers and Finance.

"The January 2022 module consisted of the courses Accounting for Managers and Finance. I am sure we were all hoping to see each other in person; however classes took place via zoom due to the Covid19 restrictions.  I was eagerly anticipating this module because I studied Accounting during my Bachelor’s - which was almost 14 years ago. It seems like a different lifetime because since then, I have worked as an accountant for eight years and took a break to stay home to take care of my two beautiful children. This module gave me the opportunity to review and learn new concepts. However, for me, it was especially interesting to learn about the real-world accounting practices and challenges that my fellow classmates face."

Accounting for Managers
"Financial Statements can be used as a powerful tool in developing a sound business strategy or project. In this module, Ms. Barbara Knup, MIB introduced us to the basic concepts of Accounting such as the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement in an international business setting. More importantly, she taught us how to interpret these Financial Statements – even to predict success or failure. She did this by using real world examples. We analyzed the Statements of Starbucks by using a variety of analysis tools. Going through these examples helped us learn how to use Financial Statements effectively to guide business decisions. Later on the course focused on the topics of cost management and how to use the balance scorecard to effectively execute business strategies. Throughout these lessons, class members discussed their own experiences using these concepts and practices and the challenges they face. As an added bonus, since I am an Accountant by profession, it was interesting for me to see how non-Accountants view and use Financial Statements."

"Next up was the hyper-engaging, discussion-based Finance course, taught by Mr. Javier Gonzalez Nuñez, MBA. Although most Executive MBA courses incorporate discussions into the lecture, Mr. Nuñez took it to another level. His style infused energy and critical thinking throughout the four days of this course. His questions really urged us all to reflect upon our work experience and our education. In the end, not only did we learn about Finance, but we also learned about how the concepts are used in the world of business. We didn’t just learn from a book – but from the experiences of each other.

Some of the topics covered were financial analysis techniques, investment decision criteria, risk analysis, project evaluation, M&A and sources of financing. Within these topics we discussed fundamental versus technical analysis, cannibalization, scope creeping, opportunity cost, types of capital investment projects, Net Present Value, profitability index, sensitivity and scenario analysis. The three simple questions sum it up for me: (1) what do you ask as a customer when a bank suggests you to make an investment into an instrument?, (2) what do you ask if they suggest you to invest in bonds? and (3) what questions will you ask a friend that wants to borrow money from you? – You will have to take the course to find the answer!"

"Both courses used group assignments and discussions every day to engage us and help us learn. Personally, I think, the group work was always fun and interactive and gave us the opportunity to collaborate and put our new skills into practice. We often continued to work together after class to complete our final group projects. Also, after the course was completed and before starting the individual assignment, I found it especially useful to read up on the list of bibliographies provided by the professors. This helps me to retain what I have learned.

Overall, this module is an essential part of the program that teaches managers how to make effective decisions using financial and non-financial information for better company performance, position and future plans."

Afnan Quadery has been working as Senior Accountant for several years and joined the MSM Executive MBA in October 2020.

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