How the Immersion Puts You in the Driver’s Seat, Regardless of your Career Roadmap

by Lindsay Petrovic, MBA ‘13

Lindsay Petrovic, MBA ‘13

Hello everyone, my name is Lindsay Petrovic, and I am a second-year MBA / MILR student at Johnson. One of the highlights of my MBA experience thus far has been the Immersion Program. Although I’m not pursuing a career that “fits neatly” into any Immersion “box” (which is also the case of some of my peers), I felt the Immersion was an experience I would value regardless of my final career choice.

I chose the Managerial Finance Immersion because I felt it was the best fit in terms of my goals for personal and professional development. I needed technical skills in modeling, and more experience understanding how finance departments work and how companies think about the financial value of projects and companies. I also wanted my classroom experience to be complemented with real-world exposure.

In terms of classroom learning, I took courses in accounting, valuations, and corporate financial policy, which strengthened my understanding of the pillars of how finance departments think about strategy. This is a necessary foundation for anyone pursuing a career in business. The highlights of the immersion, however, were in learning through real-world exposure in the immersion practicum. The practicum consisted of two pieces: (1) A four-day trek to NYC, in which we visited six companies and talked to executives within the corporate finance division (including an hour–long meeting with the CFO of Air Products, Paul Huck!), and (2) Weekly executive guest lectures on-campus.

During the trek, we visited Air Products, Merck, IBM, JP Morgan, E & Y, and American Express. In addition to hearing the experiences of many tenured executives, we were given the opportunity to work through some of the real problems and strategies the companies faced. It also gave us great exposure to how the companies operated, and what their company cultures were like (a great help during recruiting!).

Similarly, during our weekly guest lectures, executives (and Johnson alums) visited us to share their view on how to be successful within finance and within our general career paths. We had the pleasure of meeting the CFO of Procter & Gamble, and we actually went through a valuation of one of their brands with him, and discussed how the brand divestiture fit into the company’s larger strategy.

Overall, the immersion was a great experience, and it gave me deep knowledge in finance. The program also exemplified the learning style of Johnson: a collaborative mix of classroom and real-life business experiences.