This summer, 18 rising sophomores and I in the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) interned through the Business Innovation Program (BIP). Throughout this program, we have been learning the principles of the business world, and this week we have gotten to dive deeper into the financial side of business operations.

Zack Carl ’18 teaching the BIP interns about Excel and financial modeling.

Zack Carl ’18, a Senior Analyst at Salesforce, graciously took the time to visit and teach the BIP interns the financial principles of running a business. He first gave us a crash course that walked us through the basics of Microsoft Excel. For example, he explained how to use Excel to quickly calculate the sum, average, maximum, and minimum. He also showed us advanced Excel skills such as VLOOKUP, data validation, and IF statements. After working through these basics of Excel, Zack took us through financial statements. There were three statements that we focused on; those being income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Income statements are focused on profit, and balance sheets examine the financial and cash flow statements deal with where cash is created and spent.

With this new knowledge of financial statements, we returned to Excel. This time we created and filled out an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow sheet for an imaginary company. This activity was helpful because we could use it for the business pitches since the start of the BIP. The first week of the BIP was generating an idea for a new business and fleshing it out to ultimately pitch to a group of alumni, like the show¬†Shark Tank. The process has not been easy, but Zach gave us a great guide to figuring out our financials so we could confidently present them to the alumni judges at Pitch Day. Excel spreadsheets and financial statements may not sound super exciting, but they are vital to the business world and valuable skills to possess. As a result, I am thankful to have gained some knowledge of finances because of Zack Carl ’18. I also appreciate Cassie Hagan and Anthony Mendez ’20 leading the BIP!

Eli Martin ’25 learning about the basic functions of Excel and financial statements.