I have had a tremendous experience at Lagos Business School (LBS), which has made me more discipline and assertive with my decisions. The workload and interactions after school hours have been challenging, mainly because I manage it with my full-time work, but it has taught me the importance of time management and focusing on the most critical issues of life. The Capstone Project is one of my favourite tasks from LBS as it has allowed me to reflect on my journey so far and appreciate my hard work and that of my colleagues and professors/Lecturers.
I appreciate the diversity of my class and group because it comprises people with both financial and non-financial backgrounds; their wealth of experience has added value to our learning and has given me the chance to have insight into various industries that I have limited or no interaction with daily. Working in groups is another strength of the program, as it has made me network with people and develop personal relationships outside of class despite our busy schedules. It is very thoughtful as everyone feels included and heard and makes an effort to participate. It has also helped enhance our communication skills because we all consider everybody’s opinion and maintain orderliness no matter how complicated our tasks are.
A particular experience I would like to share was when Professor Owolabi, who tutors us in Corporate Financial Accounting (CFA), announced the Capstone Project would be done at the end of the course and mentioned that those without a financial background would be the ones to present because others with financial backgrounds already had an edge.
I was impressed because it shows fairness in learning and creates an environment of equity among students. We were divided into groups and asked to choose four companies in three different sectors and then forward them to the Professor to pick her preferred company and a “benchmark” company from the available options. The aim was to acquire a general understanding of the company’s organizations, industry, and overall financial performance; we were asked to download and read the published financial statements of the selected company for the last ten years. Using ratios and other financial analytical tools, we were required to extensively analyse the companies’ operations, performance, and position in five of the most recent financial years.
We then had to present our findings in class. Because of the time frame given to us, we could delegate tasks within ourselves to come up with a swift response. This activity taught me the importance of delegation and how one piece of work does affect the whole.
However, discussing related financial tasks with our non-financial counterparts is challenging as we always have to start from the basics. Still, it has always given us a chance to appreciate their strength on other tasks, especially when it doesn’t relate to finance. The Financial Experts among us had to explain some things multiple times. It was like rocket science to most of them. But I couldn’t blame them. Bombarding an engineer or Doctor with financial terminologies is not expected to be smooth sailing. We had overnight lessons and a lot of study hours during the day.
On the last day of preparation, we did our final revisions, created our presentation slides, and gave everyone a chance to present, just to prepare everybody, as we didn’t know whom the Professor would call.
The day arrived!
As the Professor swept the room with his eyes to determine who would speak on behalf of my group, we were all holding our breath. Finally, he decided to call upon the Doctor, and despite the Doctor having an exam the previous day, his presentation astounded everyone. It gladdens my heart whenever I remember that day.
In the end, I learnt that in life, it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop! I would not trade this experience for another.