How Building a Financial Model Changed My Life

Every year, InVhestia runs an inter-university Financial Modelling competition in the 3rd quarter of the year. Last year, the top student was Fiona Mzee from Strathmore University. Fiona was participating in the competition for the second time and this speaks to her determination to succeed. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Science …

Every year, InVhestia runs an inter-university Financial Modelling competition in the 3rd quarter of the year. Last year, the top student was Fiona Mzee from Strathmore University. Fiona was participating in the competition for the second time and this speaks to her determination to succeed. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Science in Financial Economics in June. At the end of her internship with InVhestia, we asked her to let us know how this journey had impacted her.

Fiona being awarded by Antony Maina, ANDE

Q. Why enter the competition for the second year?

A. I participated in the challenge twice because I got a certificate the previous and that was a very good incentive for me personally. I was also eager to participate this year because I got to see the positive impact it had on the previous year’s winners Bob Mani and Faiza Omar and thought, wow that could be me next year. The first time I did the competition I did not incorporate the FAST Standard to the best of my knowledge but was able to execute it better the next year since I understood it better. However, I must admit it was a pleasant surprise to have won. I did my level best but it was still quite surprising for me and one of the major highlights for me this year. I’m still very grateful and happy when I think about it. Building that financial model has changed my life.

Q. Do you feel that your expectations were met?

A. This experience was definitely beyond my expectations. Financial modelling is very different theoretically and practically. You have to be very analytical and be very focused on the task at hand as each model has to not only make sense but to be as very close to the actual business as much as possible. It takes application of knowledge to learn what we are taught in class. I think the internship was well structured I was able to learn a lot. I wouldn’t personally change anything. Everyone was very helpful during my time here. I got to get a wholesome experience and gain a lot of skills that will be useful during my progression.

Q. What would you say are some of your key takeaways?

  • I have learnt how to strive for perfection in my work. Clients expect us to deliver above and beyond what they except and Invhestia strives towards perfection in everything they do.
  • I was able to get a sense of the practical aspects to consider when building a model which can be translated to a real life project.
  • I have been able to learn a lot about project finance and corporate valuation especially from the videos I was given access to.
  • I’ve definitely improved on my excel skills and added to existing knowledge

Q. What advice would you give students who like yourself are looking to beef up their skills?

A. I would definitely encourage all students to participate in the competition because it helps one learn the FAST modelling approach which is a very convenient way and innovative way of modelling. You get a certificate from participating in the competition which is a great addition to the CV and the videos on Invhestia.com are very beneficial as well. Not to mention, the internship experience was very fulfilling and definitely gave me a good sense of what working in the finance industry entailed. In my opinion it’s a wonderful start in the career of finance.

Q. What is next for you?

A. I’m currently applying for Masters in Economics and Finance. I would love to study abroad to enhance my knowledge in my field of study. I definitely want to go into corporate finance in the future and definitely continue with financial modelling as well. I would also like to do some academic work as well in the field of economics and finance. This whole experience has been a huge stepping stone in my career development and given me the chance to prepare myself for what lies ahead in the competitive field of finance.

During her time with us, Fiona worked on various assignments that helped her build her financial modelling and research skills. She also sat for her FAST Standard exam and is now FAST Level 1 certified. We are grateful to have had Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Consonance Investment Managers as partners for the 2018 edition of the competition. This partnership allowed us to find opportunities for 4 of the other top students, some of whom have been retained by our clients.

Should you want to plug in for the 4th Annual InVhestia Inter-University Competition, kindly reach out on learn@invhestia.com