December 13, 2013

Advice on keeping tabs on your goals by MS-Finance graduate

Yi Shi (fourth from left) with classmates and
Peter Ritchken, Professor of Banking and Finance
Time flies. Last Wednesday, the whole Masters of Science in Management Finance (MSM-Finance) program had a graduation dinner together with faculty and staff. It is hard for me to believe it is time to say goodbye.

The MSM-Finance program has seemed very short to me, but has been an unforgettable period in my life. If someone asked me to say what I have learned most from the program, I would not say a DCF valuation. Along with the knowledge I gained about finance, I think the more important things I have learned are how to find myself and how to develop a strategy to achieve my own success.

I still remember, in the class that focused on individual and career development, we were asked to write down our dreams in 30 seconds if there was no limitations. It was the first time that I realized what is really important to me in my deepest heart. There were a lot of things I thought I would dream to have, however, it is not true.

I am so fortunate that Weatherhead supports me in all aspects, from my finance classes to my finance career path, to pursue what I want. I benefited a lot from the discussions and networking activities in and out of class, from finance to life in general. My professors didn't just teach from a book, they shared their life experiences. It is “having fun” that teaches me a life attitude. It is “being true to yourself” that forces me to search in the bottom of my heart. Some of my professors came to the US a long time ago, and I got a lot of insights from them about how to be successful in the US and how to get adjusted to the new culture.

Yes, the Weatherhead MS-Finance professors and the staff, they care about everyone in this program. They help us and they encourage us.

It is not a time to say goodbye. It is a time to grab everything we have learned, to open a new door in our lives, to put every effort into the cause we want to achieve and to be grateful for everyone that has helped us in the progress.

In the end, I want to share a great tool that one of my most respected professors shared with me: a 3-ring notebook. It might be helpful to you, even if you've already graduated. 

Here is a list of sections for your notebook. 
  • Tab 1 should contain: your goals for the next year, three years or whatever
  • Tab 2 should contain: your action steps, a minimum of fifty for each goal, along with a timeline to accomplish each one
  • Tab 3: a minimum of five obstacles that stand in the way of each of your goals
  • Tab 4: your additional action steps, a minimum of five, to mitigate or eliminate each of the obstacles
  • Tab 5: a calendar, enter your key action steps on the appropriate dates
Graduation is exciting, because it's a chance for each of us to write a new notebook of our own.


I am from China and have been in Cleveland for one year. I love it here, although there have been a lot of surprises. I will write about my life, including the joy and frustration that comes with getting my Masters of Science in Management - Finance degree at Weatherhead School of Management and with living in America.

Hope you can get a little inspiration from my story and make your life even more wonderful here!

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