Mastercard's Director of Finance for North American markets wants to teach you how to leverage the fundamentals of corporate finance to advance your business interests — and your career.
Jennifer Clarke brings simplicity to complex financial metrics through real-world business cases, practice labs, and mock analyses.
See financial questions from your partner's side of the table, even before you get there.
Enhance your corporate expertise for the charged financial playing field.
Learn to accurately predict revenue and foresee risk as you prepare to take the next big step in your career.
Leave the herd behind and build deeply researched profiles for investment decision-making.
Enhance your career with the financial expertise to confidently plan and execute budgets for projects, departments, or for participating in decision making on a senior level.
Mastercard Director of Finance Jennifer Clarke combines 15 years of experience in profit management at Fortune 500 companies to teach you how to engage on today's fluid financial playing field. By the end of this course, you'll be competent to interpret financial statements and communicate figures to investors, managers, and other stakeholders.
You'll come away from this course with a full toolset to advocate for your projects and budgets to key financial decision makers. Jennifer will help you build a functional knowledge of key topics in corporate finance needed to understand investing and financing decisions in your organization:
What's the return on your project's investment? You'll practice answering this for decision-makers over 6 weeks as you develop a strong business case. Jen will help you gauge your strengths and areas for improvement.
It's the hard truth of business: not having "finance" in your job title doesn't mean you don't have finance in your job. This course will teach you the fundamentals of corporate finance needed to make the business case for your products or budgets to financial decision-makers. You'll also learn about innovations in the finance world like crypto assets, and how to separate sound potential from hype.
How many videos, talks, and books are still taking up real estate on your "I should learn that" list? This course is different. Live lessons and labs, graded assignments, office hours, and a final project help you assimilate new information quickly and immediately leverage it in your professional role.
The course starts off by diving into the roles on a typical finance team and the functions they perform. Jennifer will prototype the corporate finance organizational structure, and discuss how this model can differ between organizations. Then, you'll be introduced to the publicly traded company you'll analyze throughout the course.
Assignment #01: Consider the publicly traded company introduced today. Complete the following to understand the company’s competitive positioning in the market:
Financial statements are the key references to assess the viability of a corporation. Jennifer will walk you through the components of a financial statement — the balance sheet and the income statement — using a current company's real financial statements. You'll learn simple but essential formulas to break down and understand the balance sheet.
Assignment #02: You will receive the case company’s three main financial statements and be asked to calculate certain financial ratios, mainly on the balance sheet and income statement. Next, please comment on how the company’s ratios have changed over time, what that implies generally, and if that holds for this company specifically.
This class is dedicated to one of the most important parts of financial statements — cash flow, the structure of a cash flow statement, the components of cash flow, and how they differ from one another. What are the sources and uses of cash and methods of calculating cash flow?
Assignment #03: Use the financial statements provided in Assignment 2 to calculate liquidity ratios and metrics of the company over time.
The notion of "time is money" is a very real one in corporate finance. In this class, you'll learn how to employ the concept of the time value of money (TVM) and other key metrics in valuation. You'll learn how to calculate these metrics to accurately gauge a company's value against its competitors.
Assignment #04: Determine the case company’s WACC and compare how it has changed over time. Then, compare it to other public companies.
In this class, Jennifer will cover the most important concepts and ideas of bond valuation methodologies and explain how bond yields and interest rates reflect interest rate risk, lack of liquidity, and taxability.
Assignment #05: Analyze the company’s current bond issuance and metrics relating to them. How does the company use borrowing to fund its cash needs, and how has the company staggered out when its bonds come due to manage risk?
In this class, you will put together a capital investments request to a company's finance team. Then, Jennifer will walk you through how to build a basic financial model, drawing on what you've learned so far. The output of this financial model will tell us whether this project is worth investing in and if it will generate sufficient cash flow to recover its initial cost.
Assignment #06: You will be presented with a discounted cash flow analysis intended to inform a decision that the case company must make. Complete an alternative scenario in the discounted cash flow analysis and decide which alternative is a better option for the company.
You'll learn how to build a reliable budget using specific metrics and tools. Jen will explain the difference between a budget versus a forecast, what things to consider when building a budget for revenue vs expenses, and how to present the budget to executives.
Assignment #07: You will be provided with inputs and asked to build a project budget with them. What are the limits of your budget? What are its advantages?
Start work on your course project.
Course Project: Business Case Study
This 6-week project is your chance to work on a real-world deliverable, with personal feedback from a corporate finance expert.
Your case company is considering a new project and it's your job to create the business case. Use inputs provided by Jen to build a discounted cash flow analysis and decide whether the project is worthwhile. Next, complete various scenario and sensitivity testing to better understand the most sensitive variables in the model. Share your findings in a slide presentation for stakeholders.
Is it possible for business professionals to manage their own P&L? Absolutely, and in this class, you'll learn what to include on yours and how to manage it.
Assignment #08: Complete exercises you will be given with different sales models (sell-in, trended revenues) to show different ways to forecast. Then, put together a budget for an upcoming year based on a company or business unit of the case company.
You may have heard that dividends are a major cash outlay for many corporations, and in this class, you'll find out why that is. You'll learn how to keep the investment in cash low while keeping the firm operating effectively, what flotation is, the reasons for holding cash, as well as the reasons to NOT hold excess idle cash.
Assignment #09: Look up what the company’s current dividend is and its dividend yield. Compare it to other major companies and/or competitors. Next, research the history of the case company’s dividend and how its strategy has changed over time.
In this class, you'll step beyond Wall Street to dig into the stock market's purpose and how it functions. You'll learn the basic approaches to stock valuation and the upcoming innovations in the stock market.
Assignment #10: Answer the following questions about the case company:
Today's class focuses on additional financial instruments that corporations may trade, including commodities, forwards, and options markets. These instruments have different structures than stocks and bonds and unique use cases. Jennifer will present several of these use cases and then walk through valuing a stock call.
Assignment #11: Use a Black-Sholes option pricing calculator online to calculate the value of various options of the case company. Comment on the differences based on changes in inputs.
Crypto assets have gained a lot of traction in financial markets, but do they meet the criteria of true "currencies"? In this class, Jennifer will outline the influence of cryptocurrencies and assets on the financial system and their associated risks and measurement issues. Then, you'll turn to how crypto-assets affect the stability and efficiency of the financial system and the broader economy.
Assignment #12: Does the case company invest in cryptocurrency today? If not, do you think it should? Make the business case for investment in one of the crypto coins we covered today, answering the following questions:
Innovations in the finance system stretch far beyond crypto. Today, Jennifer will introduce some of these new financial and investment products and discuss how they have revolutionized the financial system.
Assignment #13: Use what you've learned today to answer the following questions:
What aspects of finance will be most important to your role? With this question in mind, you will prepare to put your learning into life with a review of the most salient course takeaways. Jennifer will also devote attention to how the pandemic has influenced the stock market throughout the past year.
Assignment #14: Consider the case company to answer the following questions: