Gabrielle Martin ’21

HBS CORe Program, Professional Development Course

This summer I enrolled in a professional development course at Harvard’s Online Business School, called the Credential of Gabrielle Martin '21 on laptopReadiness (CORe) Program. I initially planned on interning at Rush Medical Center, but due to the pandemic, the program was cancelled and I utilized this opportunity to venture outside of the medical field and gain experience elsewhere. I applied to CORe because I wanted to learn more about the business industry, specifically, if the skills obtained from my science background could apply to this industry.

The CORe Program consisted of three courses: Economics for Managers, Business Analytics, and Financial Accounting. I enjoyed the three-course setup because I learned a lot of valuable information in each field and how it could apply to the other sections. I also enjoyed that a different instructor taught each course with varied teaching styles. Professor Bharat Anand taught economics, Professor Janice Hammond taught analytics, and Professor V.G. Narayanan taught accounting. Overall, I think the accounting course was my favorite. The first thing Professor Narayanan taught in the accounting section was the balance sheet equation (aka the accounting equation). The fundamental accounting 
equation is assets = liabilities + equities. From here, I learned where to put certain business accounts, like retained earnings, salary wages, inventory, and sales on a balance sheet. I also learned how to record a transaction on a company’s financial report. For example, if a grocery store sold two $25 gift cards to a customer, this transaction could impact the cash account, inventory account, and unearned revenue account. The accounts impacted by this transaction depend on a few factors, like if the gift card was paid in cash or credit, if the gift cards were redeemed, and when the company reports its financial reports. There are many intricate details we had to learn, but the program did a good job of elaborating on each topic and providing a lot of real-life examples. Every week, we learned something different and how to apply this new knowledge to previous modules.

Although this summer was not what I expected, I am incredibly grateful for my experience with CORe. The knowledge and skills obtained from this program have already proven to be a great resource when interviewing at investment and consulting firms. For example, when an interviewer asks me to analyze a company’s financial statements, I know how to pull critical figures from a business report and compute them into an equation testing for the desired variable, like the return on equity or the efficiency turnover ratio.

CORe sparked my interest in the financial industry, and my experience this summer motivated me to pursue investment banking. In addition to CORe, I enrolled in a summer investment series at a management firm, networked with alums in the business industry, and volunteered as a chief operating officer at a small non-profit. Again, I am incredibly grateful to the ASIP program and the Thomsens as I would have never realized my desire to one day work in the healthcare division at an investment firm without their support.