Surviving the Last Days of Class

What is business school like? It is definitely a bitter-sweet experience. Example? Well, at the end of the program, we juggled a hard-core final project with other exams and lots of end-of-the-year activities. After six weeks of finance and accounting courses with Professor Per Olsson, the final project for his class was a major case study including a team presentation and comprehensive write-up. It was one of the most extensive assignments of the whole year. It took a lot of time, and was pretty stressful. Still, my team submitted everything in time as required, without missing a lot of fun in between. How did we pull it off? As a team, the six of us geared up and ran at full capacity. We scheduled our work time in advance and when we met, we focused on the assignment and did not waste time. To be even more specific, check out our schedule:

Monday, April 22

4:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Team meeting for the finance project. After we got our initial ideas and plans together, we did some data input and number crunching.

Tuesday, April 23

2:00 pm – 2:00 am: Team meeting for the finance project with more number crunching, trying to build up a finance model with reasonable assumptions. And the most time-consuming task was to find out all the right numbers and put them in the right financial statements and make all statements balanced. Of course, we took short breaks.

Duke Last Day of Class concert.

Wednesday, April 24

8:30 am – 4:00 pm: Team meeting. We wrapped up the number crunching, tidied up our finance model, and started on the write-up.

4:00 – 10:00 pm: At the Duke Last Day of Class (LDOC) celebration, which included a concert with Travis Porter, Steve Aoki, and Kendrick Lamar.

10:00 pm – 2:00 am: Team meeting at Fuqua. We finished the write-up, prepared a PowerPoint deck, printed everything out and finally submitted the assignment. Then we got some sleep!

Thursday, April 25

7:30 am: Came to Fuqua dressed in business attire and met with my team to rehearse our presentation.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm: All team presentations.

By the end of the presentations, I was exhausted but also relived. The finance project was very comprehensive, covering topics such as accounting, corporate finance, capital markets, and corporate strategy, and therefore was very challenging and even more so given the limited time. In addition, LDOC was in between! LDOC is the last day of class celebration for Duke undergrads, which grad students are also invited to. For weeks everyone had been looking forward to this day. But what can you do if a major project is due at 7:30 the next morning? Work hard, play hard, and work harder!

Wenjia Wu

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