I wanted to talk about a particularly interesting class I am taking this semester, taught by Dr. Stuart Singer, called ”Tax Planning for Business Entities,” for three reasons:
First, it is unlike any class I have ever taken before because the professor is funny, but the context discussed couldn’t be more serious.
Second, it makes you appreciate the crazy things that professionals have to think about when they undertake any restructuring deals (mergers, acquisitions, etc., etc.).
Third, the class doesn’t have any exams, and you’d think that’s nice, but I’m here to tell you… it’s not. It doesn’t really make a difference in graduate school, everyone. Exam or no exam, classes at this level are super challenging and you have to read a lot if you want to understand concepts talked about in class.
Speaking of concepts, you will get a healthy dose of them in this class, for sure. Taken from Dr. Singer’s syllabus: You can expect to learn topics ranging from “running the tax end of a deal,” to “determining whether it should be taxable or not, costing the variables for the client and identifying+ resolving the principal tax issues involved.”
Dr. Singer has years and years of tax planning experience. So he really takes the class through the practical side of things. We, in return, are expected to (try) to perform at a level equivalent to a professional with 4-5 years under his or her belt. This is applicable to both the issues we address and the manner in which we do it. So if a student starts a sentence with,”Like…”, or “Umm…”, Dr. Singer will ask you, very politely, to start over. Intimidated? Don’t be, because the mood in the class is never dull or gloomy. I think it’s because Dr. Singer puts students at ease with his sense of humor. His observations and comments make you think and laugh at the same time. Seriously, guys, this class is awesome.
Anyway, I ended up taking it because one of the recruiters during my interviews last semester told me that tax planning is a great area to get some exposure to. He was so right. The learning curve is steep. And, at the risk of sounding like a geek–never has it been quite so enjoyable!