Exams, work, exams, Christmas and exams again

In the last blog, I was describing how hectic combining school and work in fall semester is. Looking at it from today's point of view, it was absolutely nothing compared to what had happened since the end of November. Maybe it looks like I'm complaining, it is quite the contrary. Although a lot of thing happened during last 3 months, it was great in both academic and career terms.

I will start with my career life. At the end of November, I passed proficiency exams from the Czech National Bank. It was a comprehensive test covering all investment instruments, including derivatives. To summarize it, the test covered topics ranging from individual bond valuations, through capital market legislation to the characteristics and use of instruments such as forwards, swaps, or options. It covered everything you imagine under the term "Investing". These exams are necessary to represent investment companies in dealing with clients. I had 3 hours to complete the exam and it consisted of 107 questions. The first 69 questions had one correct answer, out of four choices. The next 23 questions were more difficult as more than one solution were right, and I had to identify all correct answers.

The last part of the exam consisted of case studies, i.e. application of knowledge to specific situations. Example of such question is: A client of the company you are working for has invested in US bonds and is worried about currency risk (weakening of the dollar). What would you recommend to the client? I passed that exam with score of 94% and thus gained CNB accreditation.

After that exam, I had approximately 14 days off and I could focus work and gradually prepare for the university exams. These exams took place mostly in the week from 9 to 16 December. I wrote a total of 5 major exams and at the same time I submitted a written work in each subject. Then Christmas and 14 days of well-deserved rest awaited me.

Usually, the winter break at our university continues until the beginning of February. For those who are interested, the university offers classes in January. This is a short, so-called winter semester during which students can choose one of the five courses offered. As this semester is shorter than the other, the lectures are longer (3h 45 min instead of 2h 45 min) and classes are every day. I decided to grasp this opportunity and since classes started always at 5:30 pm, it was very easy for me to reconcile school with work. After 4 weeks of classes, another examination started. Since it was just one subject, it wasn't difficult, and I was glad I could check off another class as done.

A week later the spring semester began. Currently I study corporate finance, operations management, human resource management, business ethics and strategic planning. So far three weeks of lectures have passed, and all subjects are very interesting. I will dive into more detail in the next blog, i.e. when I finish these classes mentioned.

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