Moving to Luxembourg, after completing my MBA in the US, I was keen to deepen my knowledge of private equity industry to complement my education but also curious to make myself familiar with this thriving and pulsating cosmopolis. By a chance encounter, I found myself in the classroom of ‘Private Equity and Other Alternative Assets’ from Prof. Hoellermann and Prof. Fischer at Sacred Heart University. This course is a grand fusion of the academic and the practical; enriched with guest lecturers for each class, shedding light on each actor and each stage of the whole investment cycle.
Later, to brush up the fundamentals, I also took the ‘Corporate Finance’ course from Prof. Horvath. My expectation was to discount lots of free cash flow and in the meantime to practice my modeling skills. What I wasn’t expecting was to find myself in the cockpit seat; the classroom was literally run as a corporate finance department, and we were making real-time decisions with absolute freedom to argue in favor or against a certain decision and to stick with it, even to the end of the case study. His patience for students coming up with preposterous arguments is legendary (and hard to imitate); but on a second thought there is no other effective method to teach.
My third course in this journey was ‘Advanced Risk Management’ by Prof. Ertz and Prof. Stamirowski. Dreading the CFA Level II exam in May this year, I thought this course also might come handy as an ersatz preparation. I have to confess I hated my ‘Fixed Income’ course during MBA, and it wasn’t the fault of my teacher, very embodiment of a gentleman Mr. Eric Rosenfeld. And paradoxically I loved the ARM course, although they basically cover the same topics (give or take). For the first time, I have experienced the adage that finance is actually music with numbers. Variance, standard deviation, kurtosis, skewness, duration, convexity, the alpha, the beta, the delta, the vega, the theta and the rho; they were all different notes at different pitches, making up the symphony, if only we could hear it.
After one year of signing up for the Private Equity certificate, I can say that this was one of the best investments I have made. The staff are always kind and helpful, other professors are also dedicated, knowledgeable and distinguished with their academic background and first-hand experience in finance.
To my peers and fellow finance enthusiasts, I can only recommend it, this is the right place to start!
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