Stan Lewandowski—a corporate lawyer at K&L Gates working with startups, banks and energy companies—knows that success at his job requires being fully versed in the intricate financial aspects of his clients' businesses. Armed with knowledge from the Certificate Program in Finance, Lewandowski is better able to help his clients understand whether they are getting a "good deal" and assess the long-term financial impact of today's decisions.
Did you have a financial background before registering for the certificate?
I had a basic finance education, but it was not enough. About a decade ago, I decided a finance certificate would be very useful, and I looked for a world-class institution to provide me with that education. UC Berkeley Extension was that institution. Once I took the more advanced accounting and corporate finance classes, I knew that I was adding substantive knowledge on a daily basis. In particular, the Advanced Corporate Finance class put us into real-world scenarios where we could apply theoretical finance concepts into negotiations, evaluations and analysis.
The Certificate Program in Finance has allowed me to turn knowledge into real value for my clients.
How have you been applying this finance knowledge to your practice?
I use it every day to give my startup clients an edge in negotiations with investors and in evaluating business opportunities. I can be a true advocate, helping to bridge the gap between their strategic objectives and the complex terms of a deal. For bank and investor clients, we now speak the same language, and they can trust that my due diligence and legal advice apply sophisticated financial analysis into the legal framework. The Certificate Program in Finance has allowed me to turn knowledge into real value for my clients.
Do you still keep in touch with your instructors?
There were some special instructors who I will always remember and treat as a great resource: Tony Yeh, Gregory Sinclair and Ashish Sahni. Tony Yeh, in particular, is a master at maximizing the unique skills of every student and continues to influence me.