Monday, November 8, 2010

Adventures of a Quant GA

Whether you are a Finance MBA or a Strategic Marketing MBA, you’ll find that business today is driven increasingly by an analytical approach to decision-making. The skillful use of business analytics have given companies a leadership position in several industries. We learn about some of these concepts and techniques through the excel-based modeling and decision-making courses throughout the MBA Program. The quality of these courses distinguishes Kelley School of Business from some of the other Top Masters of Business Administration Programs.

I have enjoyed playing the role of graduate assistant (GA) for Prof. Chris Albright’s Quantitative Methods class for the MBA Core this fall along with my peer Art Bortolini. It has been an exciting and challenging role for me. Art and I held office hours almost every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the MBA student lounge. The final Quant exam is on Monday and I just got back from the final review session. I prepared a presentation highlighting the basic concepts students might face on the test – including optimization, forecasting, regression and decision trees. (I decided to use Prezi to create and deliver the presentation. It is an exciting online tool that takes a very different approach to presentations. If you haven’t tried it already, try the free account. Students get some free additional features; so if you are in school, definitely take advantage of that.) Art went through the process of solving some of the questions students had and we all worked the problems together and reinforced the concepts along the way.

Kelley School of Business has several courses on excel-based modeling to solve real-world business problems. While Prof. Albright’s course during the Core forms the foundation, additional electives such as Prof. Wayne Winston’s K507, K508 and K509 really help you deepen your expertise in excel modeling. The experience of helping the students with the problems they faced further deepened my understanding of several concepts. I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to give back to the student community at Kelley through this position.

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