Not your average finance class

The word "intensive" has taken on new meaning for a group of highly motivated CMC students who were enrolled this month in FIN 300: Seminar in Applied Finance, a course in the Masters Program in Finance at CMC.

The three-week course (which ended August 30) offered through CMC’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, differs from other classes in that it includes a team-building retreat in Big Bear and a networking trip to the Bay area.

According to Professor S. Brock Blomberg (Dean of the Robert Day School, Peter Barker Professor and George Roberts Fellow), the seminar provides a bridge into the world of financial services via program and career management orientation, database management and accounting refreshers, technical skill-building, as well as social and professional networking opportunities.

"To facilitate this type of education, students enrolled in the course are expected to be engaged all day," he says. "So, while there are a limited number of weeks we have with the students, we maximize the contact hours in this brief moment of time."

Currently, the only students accepted into this class are those pursuing the MA (14 students enrolled) or the BA/MA (16 students enrolled).

"It's a great opportunity for students who want to get a leg up in finance," Professor Blomberg says. "We take student satisfaction very seriously. The course has evolved over time and every year we've made significant adjustments based on the feedback we've received from the students. In the first years the course was more about tool-building. More recently, the course has morphed into teaching more practical aspects of finance, accounting and leadership."

The "training the street" courses that take place during the second week involve corporate valuation, mergers/acquisitions, leveraged buyout classes and have proven invaluable to students when they interview for jobs. In addition to Professor Blomberg, CMC professors Joshua Rosett (Curb Family Associate Professor of Business and Law and George Roberts Fellow) and George Batta (D.B.A. and assistant professor of accounting) are also involved in the course.

"We have learned that accounting is one the most critical areas students need for a bridge to finance," Professor Blomberg says. "Hence, we have engaged top faculty from our accounting program to present modules during this immersion program.

"These courses are technical modules in finance, accounting, modeling and database management that educate and expose our students to how things are done on the street – Wall Street," he continues. "We have a wonderful relationship with an educational provider who provides these modules that have been taught by our very own alumni."

This year marks the debut of the offsite retreat to Big Bear and the feedback, according to Professor Blomberg, has been extremely positive.