Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Questions for the CFO

On Friday, my internship class is having lunch with the CFO. We have been told to have prepared questions for him given that in our past roundtables, questions may have seemed a bit ad-hoc. While I understand the excitement of this meeting, I'm a bit stumped as to what I ask an S&P 100 CFO! Without much access to the TV and internet at home, I’ve only caught snippets of news. My Wall Street Journal subscription expired at the end of school and I opted not to renew it until I return there. I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have over the summer.

I’ve thought about asking about the future of the company, specifically how the devalued dollar will affect future operations and decisions (though I know more revenue comes from outside North America than inside). I’ve also thought about asking about this person’s personal choice to come to the company after a very successful career elsewhere. What were the motivations – money, power, new experiences, or additional personal development? Then there is the thought surrounding work - life optimization. At this point in their career, how do they balance the two?

I want to find out what makes this person tick and why they’ve become so successful. Sometimes I feel, however, that my preference for “fluffy” questions is misconstrued in the formal workplace. I don’t ask these questions because I don’t have anything academic or thought-provoking to ask, as above. I ask these questions to understand with whom I’m speaking. A Darden MBA, a business major from Colorado and a career in finance doesn’t tell you much about who I am. My blog, the fact that I love team sports – in particular soccer, and that someday I want to return to the Bay Area are facts that can give insight to what makes me tick and how I ended up here.


Josh Hohman said...

Ah the internship. I wish I had mine to do over again - I would have skipped the internship and played golf all summer...

I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that I enjoy your blog, and wish you the best of luck with your MBA experience. I was in your shoes a few years ago, and can tell you that the Stanford GSB was two of the best years of my life (the application process, not so much, but that’s another story…)

Anyway, I know how stressful the application process can be, and since a lot of your readers are in the process of applying to business school, I thought I might be able to help you provide a valuable resource to your loyal readers.

I’d like to send you a copy of my complete applications for 5 top MBA programs (for free, seriously). Then, if you think your readers might like it as well, I’ll provide a link you can post on your blog so your readers can grab their copy as well.

If you're interested, drop me an email at, and I'll have a preview copy of my application materials emailed to you ASAP, so you can check it out and make sure it's something you'd feel comfortable giving away to your readers.

Josh Hohman

Illuminati said...

Hey are you? I think your question around Life Optimization can really be helpful to the audience. Have you read Bryan Dyson's speech??

'Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, Friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon or one day understand that work is a rubber ball.

If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four Balls - Family, Health, Friends and Spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must
understand that and strive for Balance in your life.'