On a chilly Friday morning in November I arrived at the corporate headquarters of the Home Depot in Atlanta ready for a day of observation and learning.  I was to meet with a senior manager of IT Finance who would serve as my mentor for the day.  The primary role of this group is to manage the company’s technology funds, support the retail stores and monitor the expenses of their department.

For one day I was given the opportunity to become a part of the Home Depot family.

My mentor, an IT Finance executive allowed me to sit in on his daily meetings. My eight-hour observation of this Fortune 500 company included attending two executive meetings, eating lunch with two senior managers, watching my mentor allocate a plan to achieve the quarter’s forecast and witnessing the quarterly budget analysis meeting. My observation of the Home Depot proved to be a very rewarding experience as it gave me a first-hand experience of the inner-workings of the finance department of a large corporation. This experience enabled me to make a professional evaluation of the financial analyst profession and reaffirmed my interest in corporate finance.

This experience was made possible by the Goizueta Shadows Program.

The Goizueta Shadows Program is an initiative of the BBA Council that aims to partner BBA students with potential employers in the Atlanta area. The program provides participants with on-site experience across a range of business professions. This year students had the opportunity to shadow companies such as Aon Hewitt Consulting, the Atlanta Falcons and GE Energy. The Shadows Program has become very popular, with a doubling of participants since last year. According to Vince Celentano, BBA Corporate and Alumni Relations Officer, “students were selected on a variety of merits including: interest in the specific business sector, internship experience, campus involvement, academic strength, as well as just being an overall good match for the company.”

Getting involved with the Shadows program offers students a privileged view of the internal operations of a business and an opportunity to evaluate their future desired professions.

– Nick Preston, BBA13