Eberly Finance Seminar Prepares Students through Casework and Guest Lecturers

Posted on 2/5/2020 1:46:22 PM

Dan Lawson’s Finance Seminar (FIN422) class aims to provide senior finance students with a cumulative learning experience to best prepare for careers in finance. This is done through a blend of case-based classes, lectures, speakers, and networking.

The cases used in the class depict a wide variety of financial situations and represent different industries, time periods, and phases of the life cycle of business firms. Therefore, students will be exposed to different types of managerial problems. Students are asked to place themselves in the executive’s position to analyze the problem and to decide upon the appropriate course of action to be taken. Each student is to be prepared to adequately defend their analysis and decisions during the classroom discussions.

The case topics are as follows:

  • Financial analysis and forecasting

  • Capital budgeting and resource allocation

  • Estimating cost of capital

  • Managing firm’s equity: dividends and repurchases

  • Management of the corporate capital structure

  • Risk management and hedging

  • Lease financing

  • Bonds valuation

  • Valuation principles and mergers and acquisitions

  • Firm valuation and stock repurchase

  • Valuing a takeover opportunity, and valuation of an enterprise for sale

  • Retirement planning

Furthermore, students in the class must use the scientific method to develop and test a hypothesis in a research paper. This effort is designed to aid in the development and/or sharpening of research skills and to increase the students’ awareness of financial problems and how they may be solved or structured through scientific endeavor. It should also enhance the students’ written communication skills.

The speaker portion of the class is intended to expose students to real-world applications of their finance knowledge. This will also provide the students with time to ask questions and network with finance professionals.

Spring 2020 Speaker List

  • February 6 - Richard Lansberry, National Bank Examiner at Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

  • February 24 - Malcolm Polley, CFA, President and CIO, Stewart Capital Advisors, LLC

  • March 2 - Robert Schwartz, Investment Officer, First Commonwealth Advisors

  • March 23 - Michael Williamson, Tecum Capital Partners

  • March 30 - Felip Ucros, Director, Global Equity Research, Latin America Food and Beverage, Scotiabank

  • April 20 - Dave Stadlemeyer, Office of Global Financial Management, CIA

  • April 27 - Andrew Sandberg, Vice President, Financial Modeling Services, Houlihan Lokey

  • May 4 - Christopher T. O’Brien, Analyst – Leveraged Finance, Citizens Commercial Banking

Robert Camp, dean of the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, initiated the Finance Seminar Speaker Series (formerly Hot Topics in Finance) in collaboration with Finance Department faculty to expose students to professionals in a wide range of financial sectors. The series has been a popular addition to the program.  

—Submitted by Seth Thomas ’21