Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tales from SPJCM – My first tryst with Finance

Continuing with my tales from SPJCM, now I write something that only a few people know. I bring to you my very first tryst with “Finance” – a term that bewildered me till very recently. Though I would admit that Finance was not my first choice, but I landed up doing it and eventually did better than I could have ever imagined. Thanks to a few folks and the faculty at SPJCM, I was able sail through the vast and deep ocean with perennial high tides called Finance J

After the initial honeymoon period in Dubai, classes started with subjects like Quantitative Techniques (QT), Financial Accounting (FA) and Organizational Behaviour (OB). A few days into these subjects, I knew QT, I would be able to take care of, with my mathematics and engineering background and OB was like only “Gyaan”, which I guess, has always been easy to me – though I could never cross the ever famous laxman rekha of 5 marks out of 10 in the OB quizzes!! It was only FA that I was very new to, something that I never knew and never heard of. However, the ease and professionalism with which our adorable professor Dr. D V Ramana introduced us to the concepts and gradually built them – all in a span of 2 weeks was noteworthy. I always see him with high esteem as he taught we engineers, accounts, and made us do our assignments and projects individually with a lot of ease.

Sooner or later came a subject called Financial Mathematics (FM). Until the professor came for the first class, I thought it had to do something with mathematics, which I liked and should be able to sail through. And came the first class and then the second one and all my perceptions changed about the subject. As the professor started teaching topics like derivatives and options and terms like put, call, long short resonating the surroundings, I started feeling the pain. I didn’t know why things were not going into my head as I wondered what was wrong – me, my approach or the subject or even the professor.

Past a few more lectures and with terms like real neutral valuations, bonds, arbitrage, futures made we wonder whether I made the right choice of studying Finance and I could feel the anxiety of riding in deep waters of the Atlantic. With each passing day as I was writing the online quizzes and getting scores of 3 / 4 / 5, while my other friends got 9 / 10 or at times 8, I was crest fallen as I thought I could never do good in finance and may be what I was doing earlier to joining MBA program was better. Many thoughts roamed my mind - probably, I would have been better off travelling to UK / Germany for my previous company and enjoy the fun.

One fine day, after one such quiz and pathetic score once again, I was like totally out of sorts. I was dull and was retrospecting that Sharad came to me – knowing well what was wrong. He spent some time with me and a few others who were struggling alike and tried to teach us from the very basics of the subject. I should accept that made life a little easier for me and for the first time in the past 10-12 days I thought that I was getting it. Thanks to Sharad and the other guys with me that I could start the subject afresh and scored cent percent marks in the final online quiz. Bravo!!

Those 2 weeks of pain, struggle from with in and with the external environment and a lot of discussion with friends I could finally get the real taste of MBA and could make myself stronger for the tougher times ahead. Only then I could realise that I can understand finance and do it well. And look what best for me, I got best marks in many of the core finance subjects later on, scored high in my IIP and got the best grades in my dissertation (which was pure finance). All thanks to those 2 weeks!!

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