Coming home

Coming home

I have three days left in NYC.

It’s been an awesome summer. Although I somehow (shockingly) failed to master the intricate arts of investment banking, I do understand a lot more than I did before. I also oriented myself in the city, met and reconnected with some great folks, and had some lovely runs.

I came to New York to get stuff done. I wondered if it would be too much for me, not knowing what I was getting myself into with my training and internship, wondering if I could handle it…I didn’t want to disappoint any expectations, since after all I was coming in without any financial experience. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone’s trust. I think that turned out ok. But that part is about other people, and about things that (hopefully) didn’t happen.

What did happen? As noted, mastery of this particular arcane subject matter was not attained, but I think first steps towards it were. I will need to fill in lots of info and skills areas—like accounting–but I have now have more of a reason to pay attention.

This finance stuff is interesting, and I think it’ll be useful…even silly things like trading on my own (measly) account will benefit from modeling skills (and my identification of general, ambient concerns: “Issues in Finance”). I am hoping, though, that even if I never work in an investment bank again, I will use these embryonic skills, which hopefully will mature into some greater glory, for my China projects.

I saw the power of modeling from time to time: once, a valuation showed an area of concern for the company, we talked to the client and heard how they dealt with the issue (which they had, prior to our question, avoided mentioning); another showed a planned investment, which looked good as presented by someone else’s analysis, was probably a bad idea…behold, numbers that speak! Additionally, I observed some of the workings (in a superficial way, no doubt) of an investment bank, and saw what they did and how they made money, in, of course, a very limited way. (Hey, I can do that.) ;)

Through b-skool I’ll keep thinking about these things, and having run up against some situations in which this information will be useful, I have at least some sort of board into which to plug information when I encounter it in textbooks or the news.

Soon: packing. Saying goodbye to people and places. Boarding a plane, passing into China with a student visa, and finally seeing Beijing again. It will be good to be home.

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