Like most schools, Darden has a number of alumni who are either asked or volunteer to return to grounds to speak about their experiences in front of a second year class. Many of these speaker classes provide valuable information to students from life takeaways to how to deal with general problems that arise in day-to-day management. The speaker class I'm taking this quarter is called Hot Topics in Finance.
This is my first speaker class and it's been quite interesting. In the beginning of the course, we discussed if the "old finance" is wrong. Specifically, are business schools teaching the wrong thing? The next class discussed what the market outlook is from 2010 - 2012 and what we (as business school students) think are good investments given that outlook. We learned about the rubber commodities market. Then spoke at length regrading our expectations of the future regulatory environment, both needed and what is likely to be passed. Hedge fund compensation and predicting the future of AIG were our next two topics. We rounded out mid-quarter learning about distressed debt and analyzing future M&A activity for Houlihan Lokey.
The best part of the class is learning that as an individual, we are more conversant in these subjects than we think. The course is not about being right or wrong. It is about being able to read about a subject, have an opinion and then defend that opinion in a class full of peers.