While there are many things I could tell you about from the past couple of months, one thing I want to tell you about it one of my favorite projects from this past semester. It was in my Marketing Management class. Our class was split into three groups. Each group had to come up with a business idea and a detailed marketing plan to support it. The detailed marketing plan looked more like a business plan as it had many sections to it. When I noticed the section about financials, I got really excited, because I finally saw an area where my finance knowledge could intersect with marketing. I became the CFO for my group, and we decided to offer a service of giving people rides around campus. Seemed like a simple idea, right? Well, from my calculations, it would actually be a pretty profitable idea, too.
At first, I was going to keep it simple in the project. Do a little research, run a couple of numbers, and figure out how much we’d want to charge. But then, I started to get serious, and this happened.
It really was simple. It just started with some research. And then my train of thought went something like this…well, we’d have to pay for this and this and this. And realistically we would expect this many riders… wait… I can do the math to calculate a reasonable demand. Oh wait… I can also actually do the math to calculate how all of this will work together. Then viola… after a couple of hours, some beautiful pro forma statements came out and I had some solid numbers about our business, our budget, and our profitability. I had made a break even analysis and a pro forma cash budget for the first 5 months, including a section for notes to the financial statements explaining to my stakeholders where I obtained my estimates and how my estimates were credible.
Then I got really excited, because I realized that people do this for real companies all the time. How great is that? Something I was learning in two of my classes (accounting and corporate finance) was paying off in my other classes, while also teaching me something completely practical that I could do for a company. It wasn’t just a theoretical marketing plan anymore. I had stumbled onto something much greater than that. I could actually use numbers to tell a story about a business and give a real, objective analysis of a company, rather than just a presentation of some promotion ideas.
I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this project much, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. I think it helped me to see a more “practical” and less theoretical side of marketing. It also helped me practice something I was learning in another class. I realized that I actually learned more in my Corporate Finance class than I thought I did, which was awesome! I was finding more practical examples of problems that I did in Corp Fin! It wasn’t just a textbook problem anymore.
Although marketing wasn’t my favorite class this semester, I really did appreciate the project. Just as a side note, my favorite class was my Corporate Finance class. I went into it excited, but also expecting it to be really difficult and confusing. Honestly, it was pretty difficult. But I really enjoyed it. I loved seeing how numbers can relate to each other and give people and businesses solid advice about ways to move forward with their finances.
Good life choice on changing my minor from communication to accounting. So far, at least. We’ll check back in next semester :). That’s all for now, folks.