The Financial Express

Mastering financial calculations using Excel

| Updated: October 01, 2020 18:47:01

Dignitaries attending the ceremony of Excel Maestros 2020 via Zoom meeting Dignitaries attending the ceremony of Excel Maestros 2020 via Zoom meeting

Knowing the way around Microsoft Excel provides an upper hand at every profession. When utilising Excel, the limits are not insubstantial to the corporate environment alone. In the growing economy Bangladesh, any professional can use Excel to render their activities more simply. BUP (Bangladesh University of Professionals) Finance Society aimed to enable students to execute complicated, logical, and financial calculations.

The club launched Excel Maestros 2019, an intra-university training programme. The participants acquainted themselves with the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel. The second iteration was bigger and better. Excel Maestros 2020 was an inter-university training programme that garnered a massive response. Around 400 participants from around the country registered for the programme. The club has agreed to expand its horizons and add a challenging element to the programme. A competition took place to help the participants test their learnings and experiences. The uniqueness of this competition is that all the rounds are designed solely focusing on Microsoft Excel skills of the participants. Participants securing the positions from 10th to 4th will earn Tk 2,500 each. The second runner up will get Tk 5,000, and the first runner up Tk 7,500. Excel Maestros 2020 winner will receive Tk 10, 000.

The training features a two-day programme. The first training concentrated on the fundamental aspects of Microsoft Excel. The second one covered the advanced functions.  The team decided to settle for less but the finest to guarantee the standard wasn't lost. The sessions were conducted under the careful tutelage of Md Nazrul Islam Bhuiya, Nafiz Iftekhar, Mir Alif Billah, and Koushik Mohammad. These professional trainers appointed from Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh (CRAB) instructed the participants in this area with their experience.

A multiple-choice question-based review took place after the first training. Only 48 individuals received the opportunity to progress towards the grand finale. But a problem emerged when the programme met an obstacle in the form of Covid-19. The club had to take precautionary steps due to the continuing global pandemic. It was later determined that the finale will take place online. The final round took place on August 28, 2020. The participants used Microsoft Excel to resolve a unique case under careful monitoring.

Shahjahan Md Swajan, from Dhaka University, took the spot as champion. Abtahi Iptesam of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University was the first runners-up whilst Md Iftekhar Hossain from BRAC University was the second runner-up. Asif Niloy Iqbal, Md Mahmudul Hasan Towshique, Ruhul Amin, Anjir Kased, Mahfuzul Islam Rahi, Rubayet Hossain, and Md Kamrul Alam were the other front runners.

The champion Shahjahan Md Swajan expressed his experience stating, "Two days of long practice sessions and tons of practical implementation have brushed up my Excel expertise very efficiently. Most important part was the two exam sessions. I am really happy and offer thanks to all the organisers of BUP Finance Society for the relentless effort they made."

According to the President of BUP Finance Society Abdullah Hill Nahian, "Most of the universities in Bangladesh still fail to address the importance of MS Excel and thus fresh graduates enter the job market with little to no Excel skills. Our motive behind organising Excel Maestros was creating the most needed platform for students to learn MS Excel and letting people know how we play with the numbers or some might call them corporate poetry and create beautiful masterpieces that entails deep portrayal of industry information."

In the presence of the vice-chancellor of Bangladesh University of Professionals, dean of Faculty of Business Studies, chairperson of the Department of Business Administration in Finance and Banking, moderator of BUP Finance Society, associate sponsor, associate partner, and strategic partners, the top ten winners were declared on the same day via an online live session. And that concluded yet another successful event organised by the BUP Finance Society.

The writer is a second year student at Department of Finance and Banking at Bangladesh University of Professionals.   He can be reached at nsaadat98@gmail.com

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