Alex Rein, who went to the PE firm Ares, writes:
ACC315 was an incredibly interesting and useful course for me. As a complement to the accounting topics we covered, Venky's in-class discussions, write-ups, and case studies provide a practical business education that is rare to find in an undergraduate course. During my time at Ares, I was constantly asked to quickly evaluate ambiguous situations with little guidance. No class on campus better prepares you for this task than ACC315. The course helps you learn how to leverage accounting concepts in the analysis of a company's financials, human resources practices, supply chain management, etc. At Ares, this was a fundamental part of our job - we attempted to determine how a company's accounting statements reflected its strategy every day. Overall, taking ACC315 was one of the most helpful steps I took at Michigan in order to get prepared for Ares.
Adarsh Rachmale, who went to LinkedIn, writes:
Venky and his class helped expand my thinking. He pushed me to constantly ask “why?” and look at the numbers. However, he emphasizes to not only analyze the finances and data, but to tell and follow a story with them. Additionally, I learned what it means to be exponential vs linear. I applied many of the skills from the class this summer. I was a Product Manager Intern at LinkedIn, and this class helped me paint vivid stories with the data (qualitative + quantitative) I interacted with—pushing the numbers and asking the right questions. It also helped me scope out exponential goals for the products I worked on. I highly recommend this class to people who are exponential in nature.
Vijita Kamath, who went to Barclays, writes:
CC 315 has been the most valuable class of my college career. The class is structured to break the habit of approaching problems linearly as Venky guides us through applying fundamental accounting, tech, and data analysis concepts to successfully tackle ambiguous situations. The case-based, discussion style classes complemented by Venky's write-ups/reading lists prepared me best for my investment banking internship at Barclays. Although financial accounting is considered the bread and butter of banking, ACC 315 prepared me to confidently handle working on a live deal starting my first day and contribute meaningfully to all projects thereafter. I was able to thoroughly understand financial statements/models and dissect them to evaluate if they reflect the company's strategy, and on one particular project, communicate the unique sale structure based on the company's managerial accounting goals for the management presentations to investors. Overall, Venky's approach of understanding the business world through intensive reading, questioning, observing patterns and becoming comfortable with vast amounts of data gives you an edge over most peers in the banking/PE world and prepares you for continued success in any industry.
Nick Kuchar, who went to the investment bank PJT Partners, writes:
Last summer, I worked in Investment Banking in restructuring and often was not given much guidance on projects. ACC315 and Professor Venky was incredibly helpful in teaching and practicing critical thinking. ACC315 provides a great framework to read a lot of interesting articles, books, and cases and discuss them as a class in order to read deeper into a trend or a problem in the case. All of this practice transitioned well to my summer internship where the analysis was often open-ended and required critical thinking in order to complete.
Varun Malhotra, who went to Uber, writes:
Venky's cost accounting class was interesting and prepared me well for my role on Uber's Strategic Finance team. The class goes beyond a typical classroom setting, requiring students to step into the shoes of a c-level executive or those of a private equity investor. The class discussions and writeups allow students to assume a role of immense responsibility and make them better equipped to deal with ambiguity, managing a variety of stakeholders, and seamlessly integrate technical business concepts in real-life scenarios. Understanding how to navigate a company in order to gather the data to make strategic decisions was critical and directly came into play during my internship. I found myself having to figure out who to talk to from sales, strategy, business development, and operations, to ensure a robust project and paint a cohesive picture for leadership. The class' attention to understanding the nuances of developing relationships to build stakeholder support in projects makes me confident that it was one of the best classes I took to get prepared for Uber.
An anonymous student writes in the course evaluations:
Total waste of my time and money. Someone should force the instructor out or force him to assign a textbook, summary frameworks, problem sets, and exam problems.