The Charger Blog

‘An Opportunity to Embrace Change and Grow as a Person’

As a finance major and a member of the Chargers football team, I learned a great deal about myself during the fall semester as I adapted to studying and training amid the coronavirus global pandemic.

January 8, 2021

By Nyhsere Woodson ’21

Image of Nyhsere Woodson ’21.
Nyhsere Woodson ’21 is a finance major at the University.

Despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the Fall 2020 semester was an opportunity for me to embrace change and grow as a person. My professors worked very hard to ensure that my classes remained very interesting and engaging.

Professor David Sacco’s class consistently exposed us to real-world experiences that he has faced in the banking world. In his corporate finance class, he assigned a cash flow analysis based on the probability of various scenarios. This project related to the real world because the probability of cash flows correlates with the uncertainty of cash flows that projects face. Professor Sacco’s main premise of the project was that cash flows are uncertain in the real world, and there is more risk than it may seem with some projects.

My most interesting class was my “Boeing: Crisis Management” course because of the different perspectives of the three professors who taught it and how their past experiences caused them to perceive the Boeing 737 Max crisis differently. The class was segmented into three parts: marketing, operations, and financials. Each professor analyzed situation from their area of expertise.

Image of Nyhsere Woodson ’21.
Nyhsere Woodson ’21.

Also, throughout the class we have had impressive speakers who have a plethora of industry experience. They described how the aviation industry perceived the crisis and how it could have been avoided. Overall, this class differed from my previous courses because of our final project. It was challenging because the answers must be developed based on our research. The level of uncertainty around the project reflected what we will face in the business world because important decisions are made without always having all the possible information on a topic.

My “Selected Stocks” class was my most challenging, yet rewarding, because of the amount of financial modeling and the advanced financial topics that were covered. It was particularly rewarding because of its real-world application. For example, the subjects we studied, such as free cash flow and equity valuation, are real-world topics that financial analysts perform in the financial industry.

Another positive aspect of the class was the opportunity to work in depth with Excel. Creating discounted cash flow models in class enabled us to use Excel often and helps make us more competitive candidates in the job market.

I am also a student-athlete on the football team, and while we were not allowed to compete this fall, I was impressed with the adaptability of the Athletics Department in ensuring that we are still able to train. The weight room has been moved from North Campus to the David A. Beckerman Recreation Center, and it has been a smooth transition as an athlete. We also have conditioning sessions on the field, and it is satisfying because we can work on our skills, rather than only lift weights. The Athletics Department has done a good job of testing the athletes and challenging us to continue to grow.

Times are different, but I am satisfied with the changes that have been made to ensure our safety as student-athletes.

Nyhsere U. Woodson ’21 is a finance major and a student-athlete at the University of New Haven.