The Master of Finance Financial Advisory concentration is especially practical and dynamic. If you are interested in pursuing a consulting career after graduation, this is the finance concentration you want to choose.
On some level it is like the Corporate Finance concentration as it shares the corporate valuation course, but in addition to this you will also take an M&A Accounting module where you will study due diligence and valuation, which are aspects that will help you in your consulting career.
Further to this, there is a Restructuring and Strategic Management module. This module complements classroom teaching with evening talks and presentations from practitioners in restructuring advisory and private equity. This introduces a practical edge to the theoretical concepts delivered during the classes.
The key feature of the Financial Advisory concentration that prepares you for consulting is the capstone course – The Advisory Project. This project entails teams of students engaging a client in a live consulting project. With the guidance of both the professor and several mentors, students are required to identify, structure, and deliver a solution to a problem identified by the client within one week.
In my time, our project entailed structuring an asset backed security/ syndicated loan backed by lease assets for the German division of a leading automotive company. We interacted with the controlling team from the company to understand their business and needs. At the end of the week, we delivered a presentation to pitch what we considered to be the most feasible solution.
Another case involved a deal negotiation for a debt-equity swap for a listed company in distress, and in another, colleagues were tasked with a financial steering project for a food manufacturer based in Darmstadt. Here, there was a lot of data analytics and predictive analysis to be done. We had to advise the client on the best way to tackle the problems they were facing, going forward. The clients would then grade the different teams based on the quality of work, and practicability of the solution offered.
To augment the consulting aspect is a course on financial research: Financial Information and Decision Making, which introduces students to accounting and financial research. Students learn how to collect and analyze financial data using statistical programming software. We analyzed important accounting and finance papers in the class, allowing us to appreciate the impact of good research. It brings in an empirical aspect to the course and would be very helpful in preparing your thesis.
The Financial Advisory concentration is the place to be if you are interested in a career in consulting after your Master’s program, or if you need to complement your technical skills with equally viable soft skills. It draws insights from a variety of fields, and you can be sure to be all-rounded if you apply yourself.