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Learning Outcomes | MBA Finance | MBA Program

Professional MBA in Finance Learning Outcomes

Comprehensive knowledge to help you extend your horizon, strengthen your skills and improve the quality of your decisions.

The MBA Finance covers Finance from very different angles and perspectives - from highly analytical models to psychological phenomena on the financial markets and in firms. We cover financial concepts with personal, banking and corporate applications in mind. The curriculum includes both Finance mainstream topics and very innovative tracks of Finance like the interface of psychology and finance (Behavioral Finance).

Broaden your horizon and become more flexible

By this, you will gain comprehensive knowledge and extend your horizon. You will strengthen your skills and financial intuition and improve the quality of your decisions. With this broader horizon you will have knowledge that is helpful in a variety of positions on your career path. You can maintain your flexibility on the labor market by being able to react to future changes in the mainstream and the resulting shifts in the demand for Finance staff. Thus, we do not only teach diversification but we also diversify our students’ knowledge to make them more flexible which is especially important in a volatile environment.

Take a look at the learning outcomes of the MBA Finance: 

  • Value different types of securities: This includes recently developed instruments like credit derivatives, asset-backed securities as well as estimating the benefits of and quantifying the risks involved with these securities. In this context, the benefit of these instruments for risk management and speculation will be outlined in-depth. This is done from the perspective of investors, issuers and corporations. From a financial engineer’s perspective, this includes the creation of securities to satisfy the needs of potential corporate or retail customers. Also, the institutional background of different market segments will be covered briefly.
  • Value businesses using different techniques. This ranges from easy-to-implement but very inflexible techniques like multiples to highly sophisticated but very flexible techniques like discounted cash flow methods or real options.
  • Improve your ability to manage portfolios of securities using different techniques: this includes the evaluation of investment strategies and investment funds by means of risk-adjusted performance measures. Also, the dynamic asset allocation capabilities (long-term investing, household finance, life cycle finance) will be improved.
  • Make better financial decisions for your firm: This includes capital budgeting, corporate governance, capital structure, dividend policy, working capital management and liquidity management decisions. You will have become familiar with concepts like value at risk, cash flow at risk and profit at risk as well as stress tests. By this, you are able to perform an integrated corporate risk analysis (measuring the risk exposure, managing and hedging the financial risks to which the corporation is exposed). Moreover, you will be able to understand, quantify and maintain the value of flexibility in the company (using the real options technique). Also, you will be able to increase your firm’s shareholder value by corporate restructuring (mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, equity carve outs) and to avoid being taken over in a value-destructing way by using defensive measures (poison pill, pacman strategy, …). Through several simulations designed to replicate situations in real life you will enhance your practical capabilities in this context.
  • Get familiar with the international aspects of Finance: By this you can improve your decision-making capabilities in a globalized world (dealing with e.g. currency issues, different parities involving interest rates, exchange rates and inflation rates). This includes strengthening your capabilities to evaluate international investment projects of a firm.
  • Get familiar with the heuristics and psychological biases: Adding a Behavioral Finance perspective to the mainstream Finance view you will know what creates deviations between rational decisions and decisions actually carried out. By this, you will see potential psychological explanations of observed phenomena in firms and on the capital market (e.g. anomalies on the capital market) and learn to reduce the degree of irrationality in your own decisions (e.g. failure to diversify). You will see how to benefit from irrationalities of other market participants e.g. by financial engineering or by receiving substantial risk premia. Moreover, you will have seen the impact of irrationality on corporate finance decisions, i.e. detect how irrationality prevents shareholder value maximization in companies. This includes the impact of irrational investors or irrational managers on capital budgeting decisions, merger decisions, capital structure decisions, dividend policy and stock repurchases.
  • Be up-to-date in the latest developments in Finance: The MBA Finance's "Hot Topics in Finance" module covers new developments and therefore the topics are changed regularly. Potential topics are Pension Finance, Microfinance, Infrastructure Finance, Financial Regulation, Energy Finance, Islamic Finance, Entrepreneurial Finance,​ Finance & Taxes and other current issues.​ Several Harvard professors will make sure that you get state-of-the-art knowledge.
  • ​Learn how to use digital tools to facilitate your financial decision making: Solve financial problems with Excel (Excel functions, Goal Seek, Solver, Visual Basic, Monte Carlo Simulation).

Altogether, you will have learned analytical and practical tools based on sound theoretical models. This enables you to contribute sensibly to financial discussions with Finance people (peers), non-Finance business people (like directors in a board of directors meeting, e.g. to discuss arguments for a high/low debt ratio and for high/low dividends …) and with non-business people (discussions as they are held quite often, e.g. in the context of the different forms of the financial crisis since 2007, the role of liquidity, the pros and cons of rating agencies, the relationship between financial markets and the real economy …).

Lukas Hoebarth

  • Partner | Deloitte Consulting | Los Angeles

The MBA Finance is a unique opportunity for experienced professionals to boost their finance credentials and lift their professional careers. For managers who want to advance in their organization, the knowledge of core finance capabilities is essential. At the same time soft facts such as people management and leadership skills are equally important.

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