Looking Back: Lessons Learned Halfway Through My SMF Journey

Fall 2020 semester is over, but it’s funny how I still woke up over winter break checking my reminders if any assignments were due. The semester was definitely an uphill battle toward the end. With all group and individual assignments having overlapping deadlines, and the added challenge of having final exams conducted over zoom, it made for an exhausting few weeks. Looking back, I see three key takeaways that will save you a lot of stress if you're in my position next year!

1. Be Proactive

Procrastination is your worst enemy here! Some SMF courses provides you amazing opportunities to acquire certain online certifications/courses as part of your course syllabus. For example, for my financial modelling course we were able to have access to wall street prep online modules. Some of the modules are required to be completed before the end of the semester as part of the syllabus. Even though I love being proactive, my procrastination to keep saving this for the next week was the worst idea. If the course gives you the option to complete something before end of the course, it definitely means you should start right at the beginning. Otherwise you will be switching between assignments, finals and rushing through some really interesting modules.

2. Cases aren't meant to be skimmed

Read your cases thoroughly and prepare a perspective! As part of courses you can get access to cases from Harvard Business School. Even though the case discussions are scheduled ahead, do not wait till the discussion date to read them. All the cases I have read this far are extremely interesting and every time I finish one, I gain more insights on a particular case. Ensure you have enough time to look up additional related articles to know more about these interesting situations presented in the cases. You are not allowed to discuss the case with an instructor before the case discussions, but nothing is stopping you from exploring the story line before.

3. Start the job hunt early

Last but not the least, do not wait for spring to start the job hunt. There are a lot of opportunities which open up during fall, and applying to these early on not only gives you an overview of how the job market looks, but also helps you network during winter break. Your dream job might be just an interview away but getting there is no simple task. So, start applying to adequate companies to get an idea of the interview process and to avoid making any mistake twice. Happy job hunting!

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