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One morning this month I woke up and was at Jacobs at 9 a.m.  And stayed until after 4 p.m.  On a Sunday.  Voluntarily.  Not for Brew n’ Q’s Annual Crawfish Boil, but instead for…drumroll…a Financial Modeling Class.

Throughout my first year at Kellogg, I have been continuously impressed and occasionally intimidated by the Excel skills of my consultant or banking friends.  They can whip up a financial model in seconds and throw in a sensitivity analysis just for kicks.  They try not to judge me when I resort to the trackpad and don’t know the shortcut for hardcoding cells (F4, in case you’re wondering).

Speaking to a friend about my Excel-based insecurities, he pointed me towards the Training the Street course, taught by  a Kellogg alum and a partner at TTS, the go-to training source for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and so on and so forth.  I was told that I would learn all I could ever dream of re: Excel shortcuts and of course a thing or two about financial modeling while I was at it.  Kellogg subsidizes nearly the entire price of the course for students who participate, and breakfast and lunch are provided by the Investment Banking Club.  Not a bad deal, all in all.  The class sold out immediately with a 50+ person wait list, so I wasn’t the only one who thought it would be time well spent.

This two-day weekend course did not disappoint.  I gained mad Excel shortcut skills, as promised, but it turned out to be much more than that.  The weekend served as a welcome opportunity to take a step back and reflect on how much I’ve learned the past three quarters at Kellogg.  The class drew on concepts I’ve learned in all of my core courses and brought them together in a tangible and useful way – a nice check-in before I head off to my summer internship in a matter of weeks.  I can look at a company’s 10K and fully understand how the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow all come together, and I can build a mean financial model projecting the company’s profits and cash flows for years to come.  And now I know how to throw in a sensitivity analysis, just for kicks.