The skydiving take on Corporate Finance

An image from the skydiving course has stayed with me: de-gloving your hand. It’s what (can) happen if, for example, you don’t remove your watch before jumping and a stray cable whips off the watch at 120mph, taking all the skin on your hand with it.

(Yes, at first I thought it just meant pulling off your gloves, too.)

I wonder if there are equivalent expresions for other parts of your body? De-socking your foot? De-epauletting your shoulder? Or even de-balaclava’ing your head?

The last would be exceptionally nasty, but let’s face it, it’d be a grand exit – landing with a bloody grinning skull where your face used to be. Since you’re going to die anyway, the best thing to do would probably be to get someone to pour petrol over you and set fire to your head. “Newsflash! A skydiver from Warwick’s been revealed as the Ghost Rider!”*

So what’s this got to do with Corporate Finance? As possibly the hardest of Warwick’s elective courses, Corporate Finance revision has been having a similar effect on my brain as that stray cable on a watch-wearing wrist. I feel that learning one more equation or methodology is going to ‘de-Finance my brain’, and all the stuff I’ve already learnt will be blown away.

Revising this subject (and two others, to be fair: there are only two exams I feel confident of passing next week) has become less about getting a good score and more about survival. Four techniques – NPV, WACC, bond pricing, and CAPM – are bound to feature in more than 50% of questions, so I’m concentrating on learning these four methods and sod everything else.

The reason for this is that revision as-you-go-along hasn’t been possible this term; too much time taken up in groupwork and projects. I’ve had to fit basically all my study into the last seven days, and it just hasn’t worked. I’m hardly the only person having problems, but all the same I can’t wait for the next few days to be over.

*This does NOT imply I enjoyed the Nicholas Cage film of the Ghost Rider character, which ranks among the worst films ever made.

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