I have always run away from anything related to numbers in business management field. In my undergraduate degree, I never had accounting or finance as a core module, so I had the choice not to learn it. I assumed if I was not going to work in a bank or as an accountant, I wouldn’t need it. How wrong I was! I have come to realise that if I don’t know how to manage my finances, it would be really difficult for me to create my own business.
This year in MACE, I took my first Finance class as part of the Business Management module, which was really difficult for me. I had a hard time understanding all the terms and how the equations worked, until I listened to Simon Hulme, who came as a guest speaker to our Design-Thinking class.
He helped us understand how an entity should take care of its finances using the example of Carl’s Cafe. I took home these learnings with me (Hulme, 2016):
- Accounts are important to understand what’s happening in a business.
- Opening and closing stock levels and purchases help us calculate cost of sales.
- Banks and Angels want to know 3 year forecast of a start-up.
- Good assumptions are important when doing financial modelling.
What I found great about the way Simon explained the main concepts was that it was simple. He made it seem so easy that helped me understand the topic. Also he put pictures on every slide so that it would get our attention and his humourous explanations helped as well. Implementing our learnings through in class exercises, which were to the point, really pushed me into putting my ideas into practice.
Not to forget the fact that the students who answered his questions well, received a chocolate! This was great to increase engagement and motivation to answer the questions.
To be honest, it was one of the classes I paid most attention to and I actually enjoyed every second of it. I would never think I would enjoy learning about the balance sheet and cash flow statement! But apparently, it was possible; through fun slides, simple and easy to understand examples and explanations and engaging students using rewards. I’m happy that I have overcome a psychological barrier towards finance! Thank you Simon Hulme!