Morgan Noonan ’22

Tuck Business Bridge Virtual Program, Professional Development Course

This summer I attended the virtual Tuck Business Bridge Program which provided me with a face-paced, rigorous introduction to the world of business. The program consisted of five core courses: corporate finance, financial accounting, spreadsheet modeling, marketing, and managerial economics. Being that the program was only three weeks long, it was intense and required me to be engaged and working the entirety of the day. The first two weeks were concentrated on giving students a basic understanding of each of the five core courses. I had the opportunity to build financial models, learn how to read and build the three financial statements, and how to value a company using the discounted cash flow method. While I knew going into the program that I was interested in finance, I found the marketing course to be particularly interesting. During the course, I was able to work with my group of five other Bridge students to participate in Markstrat, a marketing simulation designed for MBA students and professionals. The simulation lasted three days and required me to consider how to properly budget a company between Morgan Noonan '22 sitting on ledgeadvertising and research and development.

The final week of the program was mostly focused on our capstone project, which allowed me to utilize the new technical skills from my courses in a comprehensive valuation of a company of our choice. My group and I chose Vail Resorts, which was particularly intimidating to me, since my only skiing experience comes from the few trips to Jiminy Peak during Winter Study. Using the content of our courses as a backbone for our valuation, we generated future financial statement projections out to 2029. We were able to properly model these projections in Excel, using skills from our spreadsheet modeling course. We found three key drivers that laid the foundation for our projections: Vail as a market leader, their resilient customer base, and their ability to secure steady revenues through their Epic Pass. These three value drivers confirmed the durability of Vail Resort’s business that informed our own discounted cash flow analysis, which showed that the company is currently undervalued.

The Tuck Bridge Program was the perfect opportunity for me to create a foundation of business knowledge that I plan to use in my future career. I was not only able to learn the technical skills of finance, but also how to properly collaborate with a team. When I leave Williams, I hope to pursue a career in the intersection between healthcare and business. While I am a current biology major, the Bridge Program has given me the finance background and confidence that I will need to succeed in this career path.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity that Peter and Laurie Thomsen and the ’68 Center have given me to participate in the Tuck Bridge Program this summer. I was able to make genuine connections with peers and faculty members who I am still in contact with months after the program was completed. I am excited to explore a new chapter of my life with the business credentials and confidence that the program has provided. Thank you again to the people who made this opportunity possible for me.