Wall Street 101 will bring financial modeling course

by Erin Lee | 3/5/15 8:05pm

Campus organization Wall Street 101 will host a two-day financial modeling course run by Adventis CG, a former financial consulting firm that now offers instruction to professionals and undergraduate students. Wall Street 101 secretary Max Hannam ’16 said that the course offers a service not available anywhere else on campus, even though a large portion of Dartmouth students go into finance — 51 percent of members of the Class of 2014 who had secured jobs at the time of graduation reported they were hired as a financial analyst, associate or consultant, according to the “cap and gown” survey results.

Enrollment for the “Financial Modeling Certification” program, which will take place April 11-12, is already nearing full capacity, Hannam said. About 20 students have expressed interest so far, and he anticipates that demand will likely outpace the number of spots available, though the exact number is yet to be determined. He said that the club plans to offer the program on a termly basis and will expand depending on interest.

The program covers three financial areas — financial modeling, valuation and leveraged buyout, according to the company website. During the program, trainees build a three-statement financial model, which includes an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement projections, from historical information and projection inputs.

The course will include self-paced exercises and materials that allow students to work at their own pace at home, as well as instruction from company founder David Lewicki, Hannam said.

He said that the program will cost about $400 per student, significantly less than the corporate price of $3,000. He added that Adventis CG is looking to make up some of the difference in cost by enrolling a higher volume of students. He noted that financial aid is currently not available for students, but he wants the College to subsidize the program in the future.

Adventis CG has already brought the program to 10 university campuses, he said.

Tuck School of Business career development associate director Deirdre O’Donnell said that the “industry standard” for financial training programs is Training the Street, which trains many of the analysts at investment banks. Their program for undergraduates costs about $250, she said.

O’Donnell said that these programs train students to be “good logical problem solvers,” an important quality finance firms look for while hiring.

“Firms love liberal arts students, but they will want to find out whether that student has comfort with numbers,” she said.

She said that they look at grades in math courses, as well as accounting and statistics courses, to assess problem solving ability. She added that students who have taken a fair number of math courses generally do not need to take financial training programs like those offered by Adventis CG and Training the Street.

Hannam said that Adventis CG approached Wall Street 101 in the fall about offering the program.

“How is it possible that there’s no resource to learn how to financial model?” he said.

O’Donnell, who was a recruiter for Lehman Brothers, said that undergraduates could also benefit from earning Excel certifications, as many financial industries, including corporate finance, banking and private wealth management, require modeling with Excel. She added that recruiters often ask what students read to assess how in tune they are with the financial industry and expect them to read the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times or Barron’s.

Wall Street 101 co-founder and president Jonathan Moran ’16 said that the club formed to expose students to careers in the financial industry. He said that the club wants to host guest speakers from different areas in finance, including banking and wealth management. He noted that Merrill Lynch financial advisor Edward Stanfield spoke to 42 students at the club’s first meeting at the end of the fall.

“It was a great start,” Moran said. “A bunch of members are off campus in the winter, so right now we’re working to get things going for spring.”