#EMBA27 My Finance Learning

Ikenna Ngonebu Written by Ikenna Ngonebu · 2 min read >

I am Ikenna Ngonebu, an EMBA27 class member at the Lagos Business School. I had worked with multiple companies in the past including startups in my career journey before joining the school for my MBA program and would love to invite you into the world of my initial learning from the school.

My Past Experience in Finance/Accounting Classes

In the past, I disliked looking at financial books or reports. I had worked with great teams in the past who properly broke it down for me and I was able to make decisions or interpretations as I deem fit. Previous short courses I had in accounting or finance were fraught with difficult-to-understand explanations without clear reasons why and how are arrived at certain conclusions in the examples. Maybe I was just not paying enough attention then, or the sessions were not interesting. Or could it have been that I was always bothered with getting to the next mails or meeting in the bustle of work? This I could not tell, but for sure I knew I was not conformable with those debit and credit tables. For me, debit meant being in debt, credit meant one gave out funds and awaiting repayment. I operated with this simple understanding mostly to my gleeful and obvious ignorance. Luckily, I did not run into any serious problems with my situation.

Fortunately, this mindset changed when I met Professor Akinola Owolabi of the Lagos Business School.

The Prof. of Corporate Financial Accounting 101.

I remember ‘Prof’ joining the zoom call that evening (as the first set of classes were online-only then) and I thought to myself- “here we go again’’. I immediately opened my notepad with rapt attention but full resignation to well-known certainty.

At that point, my mind flashed to a couple of years ago when I attended a short course to get some financial certification. I understood the numbers but could not grasp many of the terms and how they were put in tables and why some terms went to the right and others to the left. In the course-ending examinations then, I did not fare any better either.  I remember staring at a blank sheet for far too long into that exam. Or maybe, it did not matter a lot then as I was much junior in my career. Apart from some sunk fund here and there, wasted time, and a bruised ego, I escaped scot-free but without the certification. So, I walked away then knowing that I would have to always work with the experts to get the job done once I delved into that area.

Back to the MBA class, with Prof in the room, his cap delicately placed on his head and all eyes on him- my past has come to hunt me…again. He started with a warm smile and a brief introduction of himself and what he set out to achieve with us. He was quite calm but still firm stating that he understood some of us had a great phobia of these numbers. It was like he was reading my thoughts. He went further to also say that he knew the importance of understanding the financial concepts and added that we would be making a huge mistake if we did not make deliberate efforts to understand the financial terms.

That Change Moment.

While listening to the Professor and various thoughts in my mind, I heard him say that he started as an Engineering graduate and that if he could do it, then we all can. As executives, he said, we would always be faced with situations where we need to read, understand and interpret the financial position of a business or a project and make decisions based on them. He finished that speech by stating that those decisions would affect not just us, but others as well, who work with our teams.

At that point it dawned on me- I cannot run any longer. I had to face my demons- not because of MBA, not because of the examinations but because I needed to get this knowledge for my good and for the good of those I work with.

How It Has Been Going.

I am now filled with so much zeal attending Corporate Finance classes as I continue to learn and expand my understanding every day. I look forward to the assignments, the class participation at each session but most importantly, I now look forward to those meetings in my company where we look at our Profit and loss sheet and I contribute my part based on my new mindset, knowledge, and acceptance on corporate financing concepts. I know and believe I can do it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: