Monday, August 30, 2004

Wharton does a really good job of keeping your ego in check.

I took the accelerated accounting during preterm to prepare me to take a placement exam to get into a quarter long financial accounting class (versus a semester long class). It's the only area I felt strong enough to justify skipping the core. I TAed financial accounting in undergrad, I trained nonprofits how develop financial statements, and I spent LOTS of time with financial audits in my last job (I analyzed 150 audits this summer alone). So I didn't think I needed the basic class. I get debits and credits. I get how things move through the financial statements. So I thought I would try to test out.

The only thing I was worried about on the test was time. Sometimes I move through the questions slower than I should, but for the most part I understood the concepts. The accounting department doesn't post practice exams, so there was nothing to practice repetitiously to get the timing down.

The placement test was this Saturday, and it's official - I'm not as smart as I think I am. That test was HARD. There wasn't enough time to think through the problems. It's one of the few times in my life that I didn't finish an exam. My cash flow statement didn't balance (Although I was only off $800). I didn't put my work on the designated T accounts. It was an absolute disaster of a test. All I can do now is hope for divine intervention and partial credit. But I wouldn't be surprised if I end up in the semester long class.

And stats took off to 95 miles per hour last week. Before last Thursday, I pretty much understood what was going on in class. I didn't really need to do the homework to keep up with the concepts, and I did fine on the quizzes. And then on Thursday the professor gave us bags of M&M candy (yum!) and asked us to count the total number of M&Ms in each bag and the number of brown M&Ms (I had 58 M&Ms and 13 brown, a bit higher than average - SCORE!). The professor puts the class results into the statistical package, and I assumed we were going to create pretty pictures and histograms. Well, no. He started talking about population of samples and Control Limit Theory and sample distribution of the statistic, and I was totally confused.

And to make matters worse, the professor kept saying, "It's really important that you understand this concept here, or else your doomed to fail the rest of statistics." Okay, it wasn't that dramatic, but you get the picture. Getting lost now is BAD.

I think they gave us candy to make the us feel better about being completely lost. The lesson I've learned is to let go of what I knew before. So I did stats/econ/finance/account before - so what, so did everyone else here. And if they didn't do it before, they are such geniuses that they can pick it up easy now. It doesn't matter how good you were or how good you think you are at Wharton. You're starting at zero, so you better work your ass off if you want to do well.

And you know what else I learned? Beware professors baring gifts of M&M candy.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com Blogarama - The Blog Directory