Introduction to Business, Finance, and Economics

I - June 28–July 16, 2021
II - July 20–August 6, 2021
Modality, Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 –11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.

Raheem Haji, Karim Hooda, Tom Leach and staff

Algebra 1 and 2.

“[I gained] a much more acute sense of financial awareness but also a greater ability to feel confident in participating and asking questions.” – Nahid M. | East Elmhurst, New York  

“[I liked] the breadth of the course and the well-designed activities that aided in understanding the material.” – Shida Y. | Hong Kong  

Course Description

This course focuses on the firm’s financial and economic behavior. The firm needs cash to undertake worthy investments, and the firm needs to identify investments worth undertaking. What models does the firm use to identify such investments? What sources of cash can the firm use? How do the financial markets in which this money is raised function? How does the market value the firm, its securities, and its investments? What financial instruments are available to the firm? What are the microeconomic models that best describe a firm’s behavior in such markets?

In answering these questions, the participants discuss stocks, bonds, stock markets, as well as valuation models of investments, firms, and securities. They also work with concepts like optimal investment strategies, what is revealed and what is hidden in published accounting statements, and what are some of the sources of risk. Students also acquire familiarity with the mechanics and history of the financial markets.

The course includes case studies and some sustained independent work by the participants.

This course meets for half the day as a large lecture and for the other half as recitation sections of approximately twenty students each. Laptops, while not required, are highly recommended. 


Raheem Haji

Raheem Haji holds an MBA in finance and economics from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in economics/mathematics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Raheem is also a Canadian Chartered Accountant (CPA). He is currently a Director of Business Development and Corporate Strategy at Wolters Kluwer, a global information services and publishing company, focusing his efforts on mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, and international expansion for the one billion dollar Health Division. For much of his career, Raheem has focused on management consultancy in the financial sector in North America and in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, South America and the Caribbean, and Africa. He has served as a teaching assistant for Corporate Finance at Columbia Business School and as a course instructor for International Accounting at the Mauritius Financial Services Commission. Aside from his professional endeavors, Raheem serves on the board of directors of the New York State Special Olympics Organization and the Aga Khan Council for the Northeastern United States. 

Karim Hooda

Karim Hooda currently serves as Director of Finance for WPH Hospitality, a hospitality management firm he co-founded in 2015. In this role, he leads the effort in sourcing, underwriting, and executing hospitality-related and other real estate investments. Prior to venturing out on his own, Karim covered the industrials sector in the investment banking group at RBC Capital Markets in New York, where he helped close over a billion dollars worth of capital market transactions. He began his professional career in the Global Portfolio Management group at Bank of America, where he focused on underwriting syndicated credit facilities for mid and large cap oil and gas clients. He subsequently transitioned to the value-add Urban Investment Fund at the Lionstone Group, where he was responsible for identifying and executing on investment opportunities in the real estate sector. Karim obtained his MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was on the Dean’s List while also serving as Vice President of the Hermes Society. He received his BBA in finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of work, Karim is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with his wife and their new daughter. 

Tom Leach

Tom Leach is a managing member for Preakness Hills Capital, which provides due diligence and valuation services to Wall Street buy-side firms. At Bennett Lawrence Management he served as the technology analyst for the multi-billion AUM investment firm. Prior to Wall Street, Tom worked in the semiconductor industry for Xilinx and National Semiconductor, both in a sales capacity and as a principal engineer. His designs have generated over $100 million in product revenues. He has also authored multiple articles for trade magazines and holds a U.S. patent. Tom holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Business School Honor Society. He received his BS in electrical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society. In off hours, Tom likes to body surf and read books on solving very large problems.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.