I took Corporate Valuation Mod 1 this year. This offering is dubbed “Corp Val for Poets” because anyone with an interest in Finance would have taken it first year, leaving those of us studying marketing, HOP, and Operations to take it this year. Taking Corp Val was a choice that caused many of my fellow marketing concentrators to ask “Why did you do that??” There’s definitely no denying that it’s outside of my comfort zone. However, I think that’s part of what we’re all here for – to challenge ourselves and to do things that may not be easy or even particularly enjoyable.
I told my two teammates that I was going to write this blog, and one turned to the first-year next to us and stated “Don’t listen to her.” The other advised me, “Wait ‘til we get our final exam grades.” The class was not easy. It’s my second year, I have an offer, and I could have been coasting along. But instead I spent 10 hours every weekend pouring over financials and trying desperately to figure out how to do valuation by multiples or risk neutral pricing or something else that I’d never heard of.
Every weekend I complained that Corp Val was going to make me fat, because getting through the work required ridiculous amounts of food. We began bringing snacks for our work time, from piles of assorted candies to dozens of fried wings from Barbecue Beach, but then there was one healthy occasion when a bag of carrot sticks with hummus made an appearance.
However, the rush I got when our group got perfect scores on a few of our cases (still not quite sure how we pulled that off) was so much greater than the satisfaction I get in some other classes that require less work. Yeah, we worked like crazy to learn this stuff and get our work done, but it actually paid off! I will probably never personally use Corporate Valuation in my future career. However, I will now be able to knowledgably discuss the concepts involved with coworkers, and will understand their reasoning, assumptions, and the process they use for reaching their valuations.
Now, Corp Val won’t be the “outside the comfort zone” class for everyone. For some people, it’s going to be a marketing class, or an HOP class, or the touchy-feely Leadership class. But this is the opportunity for you to challenge yourself and really grow as an individual and as a potential employee. It could even be a potential answer for interview questions when they ask you to “tell me about a time when you…”