Building Financial Models From Scratch

Name: Kris Shuning Yuan

Year: Junior

Major(s): Economics

Minor(s): RTVF

CFS Class: Business Field Studies

Employer: Accelerated Growth Advisors

My ten-week internship at Accelerated Growth was an enriching experience for me to polish my technical and communications skills in a professional setting. The on-boarding process was informative and smooth for interns, and we were staffed on different projects according to our interests. Overall, people at the office were very communicative, and they understood the interns’ capacity. So even at times I felt like I don’t know how to do certain things, they were happy to answer my questions or direct me to the right resource.

During my internship, I worked on two financial forecast models for start-ups to show their investors. I have taken accounting and corporate finance classes in BIP, but the real-life financial forecast was different. I got to participate in the whole process of building granularities of the workforce, investment, sales, and COGS into P&L and cash flow model. It was a steep learning curve. I began the process by googling and picking up accounting terms and excel formulas. I also asked my supervisor for previous models to learn from. After familiarizing myself with the model and what the clients needed, I took an active role in presenting ideas both internally in team discussions and externally in client meetings. There were times in the beginning when I felt stressed and lagged behind, but things turned positive after I found the right way to ask smarter questions and updating my progress to my supervisor in a timely manner. I was amazed by how far I have come through at the end of the internship.

Overall CFS is a great experience for me to immerse in a professional workplace while having class with Professor Wieda to complement my understanding of business and workplace culture. I am very appreciative of this opportunity and would recommend this program to anyone interested in gaining more professional experiences at Northwestern.