From snow storm to daffodils

Ken F. T'12, March 22, 2012 | 0 comments
Tags: second year, Electives

When my wife and I left Hanover for spring break, I had to dig the car out in the middle of another March snow storm. In the first week of the month, almost a foot of snow had accumulated in town.

Oh, how times have changed! We returned from a week in Nicaragua to clear grass and clear skies. This week, the top temperature has been in the high 80s fahrenheit (low 30s Celsius) and the first flowers are in bloom. Spring term is off with a bang!

Nicaragua was a great time. It was my first, my last, my only spring break ever (it's not really a thing in the UK, where I did undergrad, and I spent last year's break having and recovering from surgery). And it exceeded my high expectations. 32 Tuckies plus my wife rented three houses with staffs right beside a great surfing beach. A couple of big party nights were partnered with days of lounging around, reading, learning to surf, playing water and beach volleyball, and zip-lining through the canopy above San Juan Del Sur. It was a great way to begin the final leg of my Tuck journey - senior spring.

This term, my last at Tuck, I've taken four elective classes: Communicating with Presence, Managerial Accounting, Corporate Responsibility, and Financial Statements and Investment Analysis (FSIA). It's a pleasant mix of quantitatively demanding and intellectually stimulating subjects. Communicating with Presence is taught by Professor James Rice, an experienced Shakespearean actor, and looks at developing relaxation and communication skills from drama to become a more effective leader. I was pleasantly surprised by how into it my classmates got in the first session - people really left their inhibitions at the door. Managerial Accounting comes highly recommended, and although I took it in undergrad, I am sure I will benefit from revisiting it with a more developed perspective now; and getting my head back into demanding quant work is probably a good idea before graduation. Corporate Responsibility looks at how companies respond to the increasing demands placed on them by society. In the first class (today) we will debate Milton Friedman's seminal article from the New York Times Magazine in 1970: "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits". I know there will be strong views on either side of this debate, so the conversation should be very interesting. In FSIA, we will get into the weeds on which financial ratios make sense for analyzing companies and the shortfalls of commonly used and heavily relied upon analysis techniques. Again, while some of this will be revision for me, coming at it with the perspective of having used most of the techniques and seen the implications of their application in the real world, will make the discussion much more salient.

Outside of class, I'll be hitting the golf course and the Alumni Gym hard in my quest to: i) break 100 on Hanover Country Club before graduation (I'm starting from a low base), and ii) complete the New Jersey Devilman triathlon.

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