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Friday, April 20, 2018
Financial Boot Camp prepares BESTies to win

Looking forward and planning ahead pays off for BEST Advisory Board member and Technology and Entrepreneurship Club (TEC) president Rick (Ruisheng) Wang and BESTie Silvia (Yuying) Zhang, both PhD students in Biomedical Engineering.  To prepare to compete in the 2018 Duke/UNC CASE Competition on April 12, 2017 Rick and Silvia completed an alumnus-led Financial Modeling Boot camp offered at Cornell. The combination of their hard work and just-in-time training was worth a BEST investment as they were awarded first place in the the CASE competition ahead of several Ivy League teams (Harvard, Columbia, UPenn) and co-host Duke. Funding from BEST also supported their travel to the competition. With a certificate and a first place win on their resumes, Rick and Sylvia are well-poised to advance their careers.

Congratulate them if you see them! In their own words, they have shared below their take-aways and advice for others considering a career in consulting or industry.

"Competing in the Duke/UNC case competition was an exciting and rewarding experience. The case was very open-ended and tasked us to help our client launch a novel CAR-T therapy for treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Leveraging our critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Silvia and I developed a comprehensive market launch strategy for our client and we presented our winning strategy in front of a panel of consultants from McKinsey, PwC, Clearview Health Partners, and the Triangle Insights Group. It was great being able to represent Cornell as we competed against teams from other top schools including Harvard, Columbia, UPenn, and Duke. Leading up to the competition, we spent a tremendous amount of timon research to get up to speed as developing a pharmaceutical market launch strategy requires an in-depth understanding of topics such as industry trends, competitive landscape, FDA regulations, pricing, and insurance reimbursement. The judges were especially impressed by the level of detail we were able to present as a team of 2, as most of the other teams had 3-4 members. Through the competition, we connected with consultants, industry professionals, as well as other advanced degree students interested in consulting. We highly recommend the experience for those interested in consulting and we would like to thank the BEST program for their support."-- R. Wang.

"The financial modeling bootcamp was an intensive two-day workshop led by an alumnus investment banker that covered concepts in financial modeling, valuations, and leveraged buyouts. Through the workshop, I learned how to construct a three-statement financial model (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) for a company in under 90 minutes. The financial modeling knowledge gained from the workshop will be useful for those interesting in pursuing a career in consulting, venture capital, or entrepreneurship (especially for founders). However, prior knowledge of accounting (take NCC5500) is a must for passing the certification exam and getting the most out of the workshop."--R. Wang

"The Adventis financial modeling course gave a hands-on experience in building a five-year financial model of financial statements of a company. The course also taught fundamental concepts in accounting and finance at a relatively fast pace. In two days, we were able to build a financial model with assisted help from the instructors. In order to pass the certification exam, we had to spend an average of 2-3 hours practicing the models every day for the week after the two-day workshop. The skills that we have learned here in this workshop have been proven to be helpful when we were preparing for the case competition and we also developed business instincts when reading a company's financial statements. Since we have taken several business courses, the concepts taught in this course are not hard to comprehend. However, we will not recommend this course to anybody who has not at least taken accounting because the two-day workshop was fast-paced and can easily get lost if lacking fundamental knowledge."--Y. Zhang