Monday, November 28, 2011

The Corporate Finance Academy at Kelley

By Jessica Lapsia
Second Year

Jessica Lapsia
As I am sure is the case in any MBA program, the first semester can be daunting. Recruitment information and advice comes at you from all directions: Career Services, peers, alumni, professors -- most of which may or may not be relevant to your particular career objective.
This is exactly where Kelley academies bridge the gap! The Kelley academies help students synthesize relevant information pertaining to their area of interest and outline preparation methodologies to achieve personal career goals.

Professor Scott Smart, the director of the Corporate Finance Academy (CFA), brought in leading finance executives to speak to us about their experience and progression in the corporate world. This not only served as a way of gaining insights into potential career paths to pursue and challenges faced but also was an opportunity to connect with these successful individuals. We had academy sessions designed to work through key finance concepts and technical interview questions led by Professor Smart.
Paul Binder, the Graduate Services liaison of CFA with extensive corporate finance experience, provided guidelines and exercises to help us hone our interviewing and networking skills. Additionally, company site visits were set up for us to build contacts and gain a deeper understanding of working within select fortune 500 companies. While several of us visited corporate headquarters of Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer on the east coast, several others visited Target and Best-Buy in Minneapolis.  

As you can imagine this holistic exposure and preparation gave each one of us a strong footing as we approached the internship interview season! In my case, I found the opportunity to learn about the structure and role of finance across companies and hear about the experiences of C-suite executives across industries particularly valuable in clearly defining my internship search. Furthermore, I thought the academy workshops in which we plugged through corporate finance interview questions not only gave us an insight into what to expect but also served as a great way to prepare for interviews.

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