Wharton@Work

January 2019 | 

The Advanced Finance Program: Career Accelerator for Financial Professionals


The Advanced Finance Program: Career Accelerator for Financial Professionals

An MBA, CPA, and work toward a Master’s in Taxation weren’t enough for the chief lending officer of TD Bank. Seeking to “turbo-charge” his current expertise and skills, Bill Fink enrolled in Wharton’s Advanced Finance Program. He’s now taking six individual programs over two years, building new knowledge, adding to his network, and gaining Wharton alumni status.

“Throughout my career,” says Fink, “I’ve known that a high level of performance coupled with education is a key for long-term career growth and success.  Continuing education is empowering and causes you to think of the world and problem solving differently. Since my MBA, I went back to school three times to continue my professional development.”

He says at this point in his career, he is further strengthening his skills to drive his organization while thinking about where he wants to be in 10 years, and how he can get there. “As the chief lending officer and head of commercial credit management for a top ten U.S bank, I have a large and diverse commercial, commercial real estate, and specialty loan portfolio. I lead a team of 700 people charged with structuring loan transactions across a broad array of industries and segments. We’re constantly looking at best practices, and how to improve,” Fink says.

Another reason Fink enrolled in the program involves personal leadership. “I am showing my team that I can find the time to improve my skills, and demonstrate a commitment to making myself and the organization better.”

He says in leadership classes he’s taken he has learned that you can tell people what they should be doing in terms of career development, “but they’re very perceptive. You can say all the right things, but if you’re not living what you say and demonstrating that integrity, they understand that very quickly. If I want a team that is continuously learning and improving, I have to be willing to do that too.”

The first program he enrolled in was Value Creation and Growth through Innovative Corporate Finance. Fink says its focus on many current MBA topics, including capital asset pricing and capital structure of mergers and acquisitions, helped him to further refine his knowledge. “The content delivered by Wharton finance faculty is already adding value for our clients,” he says.

Fink’s long-term goal is to position himself so he can be on the board of a Fortune 1500 company. “I have deep knowledge of finance and business strategy, and have been involved in M&A for 25 years. Despite this experience, there is always room for greater professional development. In fact, you can never know enough, given the pace of change in business. That is what led me to Wharton.”

“I looked at different programs, but when you talk about finance in my industry, one name stands above the rest: Wharton,” Fink says. “The Advanced Finance Program is exactly what I wanted to help me turbo-charge my existing knowledge and skills. The breadth of programs you can choose from covers all of the topics you need today, and there is a very strong emphasis on practical knowledge rather than theory. It’s well worth the investment.”