The theme of the semester: the markets are very inefficient, so, what are YOU going to do about it?
Rundown of the semester (hugely oversimplified, as always):
- Global Investment Banking, led by Merrill Lynch's head of IBanking, France. M&A, IPOs, structured financing, LBOs and MBOs - unscrambled all these terms and discussed why i-bankers work crazy hours and get "the big bucks (tm)".
- International Corporate Finance - while the currency markets are the most efficient and liquid, there is still so much volatility there, with even the most "hard" currencies going up/down 50% over just a few years, that there's a lot to do there for traders with sophisticated models; e.g., the famous Soros bet on the British pound, making him a cool US$billion in a month.
- Investment Management - best class so far. Bottom line results (backed by research papers and statistics on real data): mutual funds tend to underperform the market net of fees and even those that do outperform it do not do so consistently year to year. At the same time hedge funds, the newest development on the investment scene, started only in the 1970's, but becoming really popular in the 1990's, do have consistent "winners" and "losers", even after their exorbitant fees. The real winners, of course, are the hedge fund managers themselves. Now the whole D.E.Shaw (my first employer, the hedge fund that went from $1.8 billion down to $1.2 billion in a couple of month in 1998, but is now managing around $18 billion) story makes a lot more sense.
- Entrepreneurial Leadership - I signed up for the class looking for the "leadership" component, but the class was all about entrepreneurship. Every class we had two CEO's of multi-million dollar come in and talk about their ventures. An amazing kaleidoscope of businesses and people - white and Asian; men and women; lawyers and technologists; cutting edge research and dying industries; financiers and operators; "serial entrepreneurs" always looking for a buyer and "mother hens" treating their employees as family members. It's very cool, very real, very unlimited possibilities, and very not for me, at least not now. Oh well - I guess it's time well spent, understanding what I do NOT want to do. Still, the excitement was definitely contagious and a couple of groups seemed to have started something serious already. So, maybe someday (and given the frequency of my mind changing, that day might not be that far off).
Экзамены, релизы, сочинения, проекты, домашки, собрания, вдох-выдох.
Две недели каникул (хотя в реале меня, пожалуй, все равно нет). И тут я с ужасом начинаю понимать, насколько мне будет не хватать Вортона, насколько грустно будет возвращаться в "нормальную" жизнь. Чего я буду делать с освободившимся временем, но без еженедельных подпиток энергией, пусть и из брандсбойта? Да ничего разумного скорее всего, что самое обидное! Это время просочится сквозь пальцы и ЖЖ, и даже высыпаться мне все равно не грозит. Хотя... появилась тут пара-тройка идей...
На последней лекции профессор упомянул "state of the art - research done by X", и я впервые лично увидела, как кое-кого из моих бывших одноклассников уже цитируют.
Отличный семестр, знаменательный год. До меня, кажется, дошло. Дошло, чего и зачем я хочу и в какую сторону бежать. В моем туннеле включили прожектор.