1. What do you do at The Marquee Group?
I’m a Principal and Instructor. I teach a variety of courses predominantly in the data sciences field. The top two courses I teach during the year are Excel and VBA. When I’m not teaching, I help out the Consulting team with VBA codes on various projects. Currently, I’m also developing our new Python course which I’m really excited about!
2. How long have you been teaching at Marquee?
I have been with Marquee for just over a year. I joined in November of 2017.
3. You are one of our newer instructors. What was your biggest learning curve?
Getting up to speed on the course content and making sure that the quality of my in-class instruction was on-par with the rest of the Principals. Even though I knew the content well from my previous roles, it’s a different skill set to teach in front of a group of 20-40 people at a time for 8 hours straight. One thing I appreciate about Marquee is the rigorous approach to quality and ensuring that all of our instructors are of the same caliber.
4. You teach Marquee’s VBA course. Why do you think VBA is so awesome and in such high demand?
VBA is definitely a lifesaver if you’re in Excel most of your day. Even though I don’t have a programming background I’ve been using VBA in all of my past jobs for the past 7 years to automate a lot of my tasks and save time. VBA is a great first foray into programming because it’s easier to learn than some other languages. You see impactful results immediately because you can start using it right away on day-to-day tasks. If you feel that you are already a proficient Excel user, VBA is an excellent skill to layer on.
5. What is the toughest question you’ve ever been asked in a class?
People often ask me why I left my hedge fund job, especially the more eager new hires from investment banks! It’s a hard concept to explain that I wanted to do something I was more passionate about even if it meant leaving the prestige of the finance world.
6. What is your favourite keyboard shortcut or modeling tip?
CTRL + BACKSPACE. I use it all the time when I’m teaching or modeling. It’s used while you’re writing out a formula and linking to other cells on the same sheet. The shortcut will refocus the screen back to where you are typing the formula. It’s also very easy to remember, to go BACK to where you were, press CTRL + BACKspace.
7. What is your favourite snack to munch on while building a model?
Roasted unsalted cashews. They’re healthy, keep my hands clean, and are delicious. I used to go through whole boxes from Longo’s when I was back at the hedge fund.
8. What is your favourite pastime?
Playing board games, especially more difficult and strategic ones. It’s actually what sparked my interest in teaching again while I was at my last job. I was always teaching really difficult games to new players. I like to play Terraforming Mars, 13 Clues (a more modern deduction game, similar to classic Clue), and Gaia Project (you can look up all these games on boardgamegeek.com, the Wikipedia of board games).
9. If you weren’t working at Marquee, what would you be doing?
After getting the teaching bug, I’d probably still be teaching (maybe at university) or I would open up my own board game café and teach board games!
10. L-shaped Enter key or straight Enter key?
Straight enter key. Saves space on my laptop keyboard.