Upon starting in the Full-Time MBA program at Michigan State University, one of my biggest fears was not being able to understand certain topics that were going to be taught throughout the program. Higher education can be scary, and I believe that it can be even scarier for international students like me. Hence, the first thing I did was choose a concentration that I was familiar with: supply chain management. However, something that characterizes me is that I have always tried to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Therefore, I decided to pursue a second concentration in something that I was never familiar with: finance.
I still remember my first class with assistant professor Morad Zekhnini. It was about accounting and how the money flows through a company and its investors. I was unfamiliar with the topics seen in this class, but fortunately I had a bit of knowledge from an accounting class I took during my bachelor’s.
As the class progressed, I remember feeling lost as the topics were getting harder. I felt that there was nothing I could do to stop my inevitable failure of the class. My team and I got together several times to do the homework and to review the lectures, but it wasn’t until I heard about the Broad MBA Finance Association that I started to see the light.
The Broad MBA Finance Association is a group of MBA students within the finance concentration who get together and help each other review and better understand certain topics, give career advice between each other or simply talk to someone who understands the process of learning the material. Thanks to the sessions held by the Broad MBA Finance Association, I was able to deep-dive into some of the more complicated topics and even help some of my classmates understand them as well.
At some point, I thought about dropping my finance concentration because I was afraid of the complexity of the lectures; however, I now have turned that around. I use the knowledge I have gained to understand markets and financial news, have interesting conversations with my peers and make educated decisions about the market. I am happy I did not end up dropping my finance concentration as it has already started to benefit me, which motivates me to keep learning about this fascinating subject.