Key to my ongoing professional career
"Doing training is a good chance to step out of the day-to-day and really think about
how you approach things. I’m an ex-auditor by background and was trained to ask
“why” but this programme was a great reminder to me that you need to question
every step and really delve into the decisions you are making.
I was having a career break after eight years of working for a listed company and
wanted to do some studying – although not for too long a stretch as I have a young
family. For my next job, I wanted to go to a small company on an IPO path with a
high-growth story and that’s why I chose this programme – it’s a real “growth
mindset” type of programme; refreshing your thinking.
In my work life I had touched on maybe 30 per cent of the programme content in
terms of actually experiencing it – things like capital raisings, debt raisings,
shareholder payout policies. I knew about other topics from previous studying but I
still walked away from this programme with far greater knowledge and
Fortunately, after the programme, I got exactly the role I wanted as CFO for Victory
Offices in Melbourne. We offer flexible workspaces through serviced offices and a bit
of co-working space as well. We are going through an IPO at the moment and I’m
hopeful the business will grow at quite a fast pace, so there will be plenty of
opportunities to start thinking about the adequate capital structure and some things
that were to the fore in the programme.
A lot of university degrees are very theoretical, particularly in finance and
accounting, and it was so refreshing to have such a practical course. The
programme was just as much about what not to do – as what to do – which was
really well explained with practical case studies of large corporations.
We analysed some big M&A deals. On paper they might look successful enough but
when you strip them down they often haven’t created the value that could have been
created if you had used the capital in another way. I think everyone on the
programme was left with a questioning mindset: Why do a merger? Why do an IPO?
Would share buybacks be a better option?
Professor Servaes has a great style. There’s no doubt he’s an expert at what he
does. He knows how to keep a class engaged – when to back off a little and when to
put the accelerator on. He’s extremely intelligent but also extremely personable and
that’s a very rare mix, which is probably why he’s so successful.
The course materials were fantastic. I’m never normally big on course materials and
writing notes during lectures as I find that I very rarely go back to look at them, but
this time it’s certainly on my agenda to return to the notes, as and when I need them,
because they were that valuable.
If I think back to my university days and my chartered accounting course it was all
about passing exams but the things I’ve learned here are relevant for my work and
ongoing professional career. Courses that provide that are hard to find. I walked
away from the programme thinking that the value proposition was there, which is a
hard thing to deliver when you’ve paid for the course yourself and travelled all the
way from Australia to attend it!"