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…and with that, one assignment left

March 16th, 2010 by Randy Zwitch · 5 Comments · Semester 3

Some of you might have caught this as my Facebook status last night, until I deleted it.  I didn’t want to waste my good topic on a single line status update!

Last night was a double whammy of sorts, having the Stats quiz due before midnight Monday/Tuesday and the case study due at 6:59 a.m. Tuesday morning.  (Yes, I realize I could’ve done either/both any time during the week prior!)

I spent the better part of the post-work early evening doing the statistics quiz, which was more tedious than hard…I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate the ‘more than one right answer’ type of question.  I’m fine with difficult questions that seemingly have no answer, or easier questions with answers that are extremely similar to make you think, but the ‘this answer is true, but this one is more correct’ or ‘how many of these are correct?’ has always felt like testing an individual’s ability to take exams, rather than testing against the actual material.

As 9:00 p.m. rolled around, it was time to put together the Marketing case, before passing it back to the team for a final ‘final draft’ for submission.  It took me until 11:30 p.m. or so to wrap everything up, partly because the team ‘called an audible’ and decided Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. to do an NPV analysis on the Bayer merger value, and partly because I just didn’t have a handle on all of the facts presented in the case.  One of the interesting lessons I’ve learned about myself from going through the CCMBA program is that I have little ability to remember facts that don’t start out ‘financial’.  Meaning, I can probably tell you a relative range that several stock market indices are at any given time, or specific details about any financial case studies we’ll do, but when the topic is pharmaceutical such as the Bayer case, or the recent Stats case on forecasting lumber prices, I just ‘space out’…Office Space style.  Whether that’s a lack of practice on these other topics, or a specific ‘blind-spot’ in my quantitative abilities, I don’t know…but it’s good that I don’t plan on leaving the financial services industry for a while!

Overall, I’ve got to say I’ve been really pleased with the quantitative content of this Marketing class.  Given the way our curriculum is broken up, it seems like there are distinctly quantitative classes and distinctly qualitative ‘ideas’ classes.  At the start of the semester, I assumed that Marketing would lean towards the ‘qualitative’ side, but with the recent discussions on conjoint analysis and utility models of consumer preferences, and valuing a merger based on brand equity, there’s been a lot of rigor and quantifiable ideas.  And yet, when someone drops a gem like ‘customer centricity’ in a meeting at work, at least now I’ll know that they aren’t making up their own corporate-speak!

So at 11:30 p.m. I sent off my version of the final draft to the team…and with that, I realized there is only one assignment left for the 3rd semester, the final statistics case study (not including finals, of course).  Not sure where the time went, but it would appear that we’re only weeks away from the program nearing the halfway point.

New Term, New Half, New Section, New Teams and New Country start in less than a month…and I’ve done nothing to prepare for the transition.

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Tags: China··Statistics·

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  • Wasim

    it was painful last night. Thankfully I did my quiz on saturday :)

  • Syed Husain

    @Wasum: Painful is the right word.
    @Randy: How did you go about calculating the NPV? Did you do it on the savings or on the earnings, or both? We had issues locating enough data to do it on the earnings.

  • Randy Zwitch

    It was Jig who ended up doing the NPV. He did a whole P&L, Sales, COGS, taxes…it was a sight to see. Most of our assumptions were based around what percentage of sales Bayer aspirin comprised of the total portfolio.

    In the end, we said that the 10-year NPV of the deal was something like $935 million pre-tax. If you add in the $123 million in brand value, it gets you over the $1 billion bid price, before doing anything to further improve sales/lower costs.

    I’ll send you an email with the NPV spreadsheet, it was really quite impressive.

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