Favorite Business Courses Of The Class Of 2024

Finance. They’re just courses you slog through and survive. Adjusted Present values and Time Value of Money? Ho-hum! Cash flow statements? Just a bunch of numbers. Formulas and models, ratios and data, Excel and Python – no imagination required…unless you are tip-toeing the high wire between fraud and failure.

Finance requires students to adopt a new way of thinking. Some call it a language – one that requires students to flip back to the textbook glossary every paragraph. Others compare it to a story, one replete with characters, arcs, and themes that reveal the health and prospects for an organization. Whether it is an outlook, a language, or an art, finance can be tedious, time-consuming, and mind-boggling. That means it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Caleb Yarbrough, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

At Georgia Tech’s Scheller College, Caleb Yarbrough completed a concentration in Finance. He even started work as a financial analyst with Goldman Sachs after graduation. Like any student, he too needed a pick-me-up sometimes. That’s exactly what Dr. Jaqueline Garner did for him in his favorite course: Financial Modeling.

“Dr. Garner’s course was entertaining, fast-paced, and incredibly interactive. Her high-octane energy and obvious passion for the field of finance contributed to me walking away from every class feeling as though I had learned three weeks’ worth of knowledge in 75 minutes. To me, this course also exemplified the application of real-world concepts and practical skills in a classroom setting. 

Financial Modeling is just one of the surprising courses listed by this year’s Best & Brightest Business Majors as their favorite courses. As part of the nomination process, Poets&Quants asked top business majors to list their favorite classes. Here is a sampling of the courses that made the courses that made the biggest impact on the Class of 2024.

Roman Rhone, University of Michigan (Ross)

“BA 457: Living Business Leadership Experience – This course offers students the opportunity to establish and lead a functional team in an actual, operational business unit, working directly with executives of a sponsoring company, and learning under the supervision of faculty advisors. Students accepted into this course will work as a team member in one of several Ross enterprises that have been created for the purpose of experiential learning and the practical application of foundational knowledge in a real business setting.”
Roman Rhone, University of Michigan (Ross)

“Sustainability in Business covered topics such as the circular economy, sustainable design, packaging, logistics, and social sustainability issues. One of the most beneficial skills I acquired in this class was performing a total cost of ownership analysis, comparing electric, hybrid, and gas-powered vehicles. This knowledge became especially valuable when I conducted an electric vehicle feasibility analysis for the City of Fairfield, Ohio, as part of a Professional Service Project.

The class was taught by Dr. Lisa Ellram, a supply chain professor and my mentor in the sustainability field. As a prospective student of Miami, I met with Dr. Ellram, and she introduced me to the interconnection between supply chain and sustainability, a fascination I have had ever since. I am not only impressed by Dr. Ellram’s extensive academic achievements but also by the interest she takes in each of her students. She has played a pivotal role in my academic career.”
Bridget Dougherty, Miami University (Farmer)

“EEE457 – Strategic & Entrepreneurial Management Senior Capstone. The Whitman Capstone stands out as both my hardest and most exciting course at Syracuse University. This class involves creating a new product or service as a team of entrepreneurs and preparing a strategic business plan for the first five years of operation. It is unique to the Whitman experience, as it connects all aspects of our nine majors and four years of cumulative learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this course, and Professor Ken Walsleben truly sets his seniors up for success in and beyond the classroom. I can confidently say that Capstone was the best way to end my time as a business student.”
Lily Buckley, Syracuse University (Whitman)

“Student Teams Achieving Results – STAR – is an experiential learning class where two undergraduate students are paired with a team of five MBAs and work through a semester-long consulting engagement for a corporate client. I had the opportunity to fly to a conference in Germany before presenting our sustainability research and recommendation to the executive VP of a multi-billion-dollar company who implemented our approach this year.”
Andy Jin, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Kylie Nagel, University of Virginia (McIntire)

“COMM4263: Cybersecurity as a Business Risk, co-taught by Professors Ryan Wright and Bryan Lewis. This class was not only engaging and interesting, but was a perfect introduction to my future career in the intersection of business and cybersecurity. The combined expertise of Professors Wright and Lewis creates a dynamic environment that embodies all the values of learning at McIntire. This class goes beyond a traditional classroom setting and allowed me to think like a C-suite executive to solve real-life problems. I was given the chance to consult industry leaders in the field, bridging the gap between academia and real-world cybersecurity processes. I learned to be forward thinking to solve complex problems of the future, which is essential for the rapidly changing climate of cybersecurity.”
Kylie Nagel, University of Virginia (McIntire)

“My favorite business course was the Aaron Selber Jr. Course on Distressed Debt taught by Professor Yest. The course supplemented niche lecture material with a semester-long case competition, allowing us to work in teams to present a distressed debt investment thesis to a group of industry judges. The experiential learning component of the course and unique content provided our team with the opportunity to be creative and resourceful in learning how to model a distressed company and build compelling presentation materials. Additionally, Professor Yest and our industry mentor broke down an otherwise complex subject into understandable components, making the course equal parts challenging and engaging.”
Kobe Zagon, Tulane University (Freeman)

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