How a Marketing Student Can Learn Finance

“That was awesome.”

The clock struck noon and Investment Banking was done for the day. We had just spend 90 minutes walking through a series of powerpoint slides titled ‘Investment Grade Public and Private Debt’. Prior to business school just reading that title may have made my head explode. I had zero knowledge of finance and could not have told you the difference between Hedge Funds and Investment Banks. All I knew was that they worked a ton of hours and made a lot of money.

But here I was in my Investment Banking class with a couple of prospective students equally as oblivious to Finance as I had been before I came to NYU Stern. When the lecture was over I turned to one of them and asked her thoughts on the class:

“That was awesome.”

I would normally be skeptical because how could someone really be that enthusiastic about a topic so mundane. But here is the thing… it WAS awesome! The reason is very simple: the person teaching the class was Professor Charles Murphy. A former head of Investment Banking at Credit Suisse, Professor Murphy is funny, engaging, and an amazing teacher. I know he is a great teacher because throughout the first 6 weeks of class this semester I have gone from zero understanding of the financial services industry to a deep understanding of investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, asset management, and how they all work together.

The point of this post is not to pat myself on the back. It is also not to heap praise on Professor Murphy (even though I could spend 3000 words doing it without breaking a sweat). The real point I want to make is that we have phenomenal professors here at NYU Stern. I am a marketer who thought finance was beyond my level of comprehension. What I’ve found is that if you have great professors that you can learn anything.

I stand before the community now as a graduate who feels comfortable talking about finance. This is no small feat and I could not have done it without my professors leading the way. I had the pleasure of speaking with an NYU Board Member recently about NYU Stern. When I asked him why he thought we have had so much success he said “anywhere you go at the top MBA programs you will have great professors, but I think what we have at NYU is Seal Team 6.” They are the Navy’s top operational task force and are the best at what they do. I can’t think of a better comparison for our faculty here and am happy to say that I have grown significantly as a student learning from them.