Somehow I totally missed my summer reading list. In my defense, it was a teeny tiny link on my b-school’s Web page, crammed in among stuff I’d already taken care of like a good little teacher’s pet.
I found it today, with only two weeks left in my summer. Thank God for Amazon next-day delivery and public libraries. I pulled together a smattering of recommended books and stuck my nose in one for most of the afternoon.
And, shocker, I understood all of it. Is it possible I’m not as business stupid as I thought?
I’ve been prepared for months to be decimated by business school. I know I will often be the most confused person in the classroom. I expect numbers and concepts to swim before my eyes. I expect to cry out of frustration.
So it’s nice to know that not all of the summer reading brings me to tears.
Admittedly the book isn’t terrifying. It’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel, and he wrote it for the common person. My future professor called it a good intro for students who’ve never taken a finance course. It isn’t dense and it isn’t full of insane jargon. It’s not as intimidating as The Principles of Corporate Finance, which is weighing down my kitchen table with its 847 pages of itty bitty type.
But I read it and I get it, and that’s a huge relief. I know I’m going to spend a lot of time in business school feeling lost but at least this is one thing I understand. I’m not starting from zero. Hallelujah!
Who do I have to thank for this? First, Chris Roush, my journalism professor who taught a class on business journalism (check out Chris’ blog here). Thanks to him I know how to read SEC filings and how to gather information on privately held companies.
Second, there’s the Motley Fool. I started reading their books a few years ago to understand how to save money and how to invest my meager savings.
And, third, I thank Planet Money, an NPR podcast that I can’t recommend enough. NPR gave birth to the podcast last year when the economy was falling apart before our eyes, and it’s devoted to explaining the economy and all its facets in a way everyone can understand it. I love the podcast and I love the people who do it. Check it out. It’s free on iTunes. Here’s the link to the Planet Money blog.
So, thank you Chris Roush, the Motley Fool and Planet Money. You’ve made me feel a tiny smidge less stupid.