Early in my career, I worked as an analyst for a company that completed an IPO. However, just a few years later, the company entered bankruptcy. The marketplace dynamics played a significant role since both the product they sold and the inputs used to create it were dependent on volatile commodities prices. In this type of business environment, finance takes the front seat, and decisions are driven by numbers. This situation excited me because I could utilize some of the financial skills I had gained as a small business consultant and during my MBA program.
- Conducted annual financial budgeting. I co-managed the budgeting process for a $800M annual budget.
- Prepared operational forecasts and plans. I worked closely with executives across multiple departments to prepare operational forecasts and plans, owning forecasts for multiple teams including: Logistics & Development, Marketing, Plant Operations, Procurement, and Information Technology.
- Developed balanced scorecards and dashboards that measured progress towards forecasted goals and identified issues so that managers could take action.
- Created financial models and conduct analysis. I used business & financial models to simulate different business scenarios, growth strategies, and capital budgeting decisions. I often conducted NPV analysis. I built a linear operations model.
- Prepared content for inclusion in annual financial reports. Prepared external financial reports for inclusion in quarterly and annual SEC filings.
- Prepared Board of Directors presentations. Prepared quarterly Board of Directors presentations that summarized and simplified financial results.
I was grateful to get this type of experience so early in my career. My understanding of finance shapes what I do and how I make decisions. I am able to break down economics and see the moving financial parts. And I know how to find levers that make a company more profitable.
Specifically, a few areas where this has helped include:
- Developing business cases
- Conducting campaign optimizations
- Managing a portfolio of project with varied ROIs
- Teaching Managerial Finance courses