Comments from Past Students
(unsolicited emails received from students after completing one of Travis’ classes or after graduating)



“I know you may not remember me, but I was a student in your MHA/MSPH class Fall 2017.  I just want to give my deepest gratitude and thanks for what you taught and focused on. I can’t say it enough, but your teachings of being an Excel Badass, has been one of the most beneficial in the workplace. Honestly, I never really saw the benefit while being in your class and felt it very tedious at times. However, I was completely wrong, and now realize how you were building us to have those hard skills necessary for the workplace. There have been countless times in the last 4 months where I’ve been praised for my skills in excel and outlook. I see my peers compared to the benchmark you set and the difference is exponential.  Also, looking back, I do appreciate everything you did as professor. I see now how engaged you were and how you truly wanted us to succeed! So thank you for the difference you made in both our professional and personal lives.” – Ryan

“I took your BUSI 520 class last semester and wrote to you about how practical and useful it had already been for me. I just wanted to follow up on that email now that I’ve been working at my current internship for a few weeks to report that my excel skills have been a defining hard-skill for me at the workplace. On a given day I’ll get up from my desk nearly a dozen times to help out coworkers and other interns with their excel questions. VLOOKUPS in particular seem to be both the most vexatious and useful tools that I help people with. Your class gave me a practical skill that distinguishes me from others at the internship. Thank you again for teaching BUSI 520, and I hope you have a great summer.” – Arth

“I wanted to send this email to say thank you for a great semester, as this course has provided me with the most practical knowledge of any class I have taken at UNC thus far. I have been recommending the class to all of my friends, and I will continue to do so in the future as new business school students ask me about which electives to take.” -- Danny

“I graduated from UNC in 2015 after majoring in Economics, but the most important class I took at UNC was your Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling for Business course, as I use excel for my role in operations analytics every day. You certified me as an 'Excel badass' after I received an A in your course, and since then my skills have only improved. ....  I can definitively state that your course was incredibly important in getting to me where I am in my young career. Watching others at work click around Excel with their mouse gives me the chills.  -- Jake

“Just wanted to let you know that I brought some samples of the Excel class HW into an interview and the interviewer was very impressed. I ended up landing the job (which could change the course of my life) and it was greatly attributed to your class. Hope you know that you are providing some life changing instruction. Thank you.”  -- Parry

“As far as usefulness goes, your class is absolutely one of the most important classes to take at UNC. Thank you for a great semester!! “ -- Nathan

“When we started the semester I was absolutely an Excel novice/”Neanderthal” and am extremely pleased with the transformation that I have made into an Excel Bad-Ass. Your course was quite challenging for me but I am now confident in my Excel skills and know that they will be applied as I continue to progress through graduate school and back into the professional world. Thanks again Travis for being a great instructor! “ -- Anna

“This has been one of the (if not the most) useful class I’ve taken at UNC. I’m really glad someone offers a course like this. Appreciate all of the work you put in. “ – Jack

“I must say, throughout my 3+ years here at UNC, I can count on one hand the number of times that a professor has directly followed up with me and the entire class following a concern I had. That really means a lot and a simple email reply can’t really convey the extent of that!” – Grady

“This summer I will use excel with sophisticated experience. Whizzing through worksheets in my upcoming internship will reflect nicely on my capabilities. Your excel lessons make my proficiency possible. Additionally, you connected to my computer twice when I got stuck. Thanks because I know it took time and happened on Sunday both times. Few professors respond to issues even close to as quickly.  Thanks again.”  -- Parker

“WOW, thank you so much!! I really enjoyed your course, your professionalism, and setting us up for success. I look forward to applying my new Excel skills in the workplace.” -- Sam

“I really enjoyed your class and learned a lot. In fact, I already get to tell you how helpful your class has been as I am applying what I learned in an investment banking internship I have this spring with Jacobs Capital. I can’t stress enough how applicable everything you taught us is in this position!” -- Austin

“I wanted to thank you for teaching us important excel skills at BUSI520. I now work on a data analytics project and frequently use pivot table, vlookup, IF function and etc. I can’t imagine how I can handle my work without this class and I feel obliged to share this insight with you.  Thank you so much for preparing us for our real jobs!  – Luman

“Just wanted to say THANK YOU! I took BUSI 520 through UNC's MHA program and it was one of the most helpful courses I took. I started the MHA program with no experience in Excel and now I'm highly proficient because of taking your course. I think this course should be mandatory for all MHAs. I'm an Analyst with Novant Health and don't think I could be in my current role without having taken your course. I'm in Excel every single day! I've been nicknamed the "Excel Ninja" at work. Thanks again!” – Marissa

“…I just wanted to let you know how helpful your class was. Out of all the classes that I've taken so far, the familiarity with excel and outlook is by far the most useful in the internship I have now. …” -- Nisha

“I'm currently working as a business analytics consultant, and use things I learned in your class every day!” – Jules

“As a CPA and now tech sales manager, I can safely say your class was the most useful class I took at UNC. Nested IFs, VLOOKUP, and INDEX-MATCH for the win! I didn't realize it at the time but I learned a ton in your class, and use those skills at work every day... and blow other peoples' minds in the process.” – Nic

“I just wanted to take a second to say thanks for helping to give me a leg up on the competition. I'm in a credit analyst training program for Bank of America and Training the Street has been teaching us excel/basic modeling for the past 2 days. I took your 520 class last fall and I can honestly say that they haven't asked me to do anything or tried to teach me anything that I didn't already learn from your class. There are people in this training class from some of the best business schools from all over the world and thanks to the things I learned from 520 I am able to rise above them in this class.  Your 520 class is one of the, if not the, most useful classes at the business school and I just wanted to thank you again for the preparation it gave me.” – Sawyer

“I recently graduated from the MAC program, and took your Excel class in Mod 2. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for teaching such a great class. In my new job at Bank of America I have used something we learned in class every day since starting. In fact we had three days of Excel modeling training my first week, and I breezed through it ahead of my coworkers.  So thank you thank you!” -- Alana


“I just wanted to thank you for making me an Excel badass. …  My second major is computer science, so I already was pretty familiar with Excel just from spending time on the computer. That being said, what I learned in Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling has already come in handy more than I could imagine. I’m an FMP intern at GE Power & Water this summer, and I’ve made half a dozen spreadsheets in the last two weeks that have blown away my manager.… So again, thank you for making me learn more about excel than I ever would have on my own.” – Jon


“I want to thank you for one of the best, and most practical, classes I've taken at UNC and KFBS. There are few classes that have such an immediate impact, but this one surely did. Before this class, I took BUSI 410, which taught the basics of excel through Solver and Crystal Ball. This course taught me more about excel than I ever could have imagined. It was daunting at first, but I'm so glad I took it. I've actually become a fan of excel and actually was the one to volunteer in our group project to create a revenue/cost model on excel for another class I was taking this semester.” --  Ben


“After the exam today, I realize just how much I learned in the class this semester and I am extremely grateful for all of the help and resources you provided us. All of the skills that I learned in BUSI 520 will be extremely applicable in the workplace and hopefully I know I won't be a liability with Excel. Thank you so much for all you do for Kenan-Flagler students making us better employees in the long run.” -- Fields


“I just wanted to let you know that BUSI 520 really helped me succeed in my internship over the summer--and that your class was one of my favorites at UNC! I'll be using the skills I learned in your class every day after graduation, and I just wanted to thank you for designing such an excellent and intellectually stimulating course!” -- Soroush


“I would like to first thank you for teaching the advanced spreadsheet modeling class; I graduated in May, and am emailing from my current work, and I am already known as the excel guru of the team. It truly was the most useful class I took at Carolina.” -- Christine


“I just wanted to say thank you for the course – I thought I learned everything I needed to know about excel during my internship, but you certainly proved otherwise. Thanks to your help I’ll save countless hours on sleep and am confident I can deliver much more intuitive & flexible spreadsheets. Not only that, but I genuinely enjoyed the class and actually have fun with excel now. I really appreciate it!” -- Samuel


“I want to express thanks for you teaching Busi 520! I’m going into consulting (currently in the internship recruitment process) and what I learned through Busi 520 has proven to be extremely valuable for my desired career path. I constantly recommend my friends to take Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling, and I’m glad I took it early on.” -- CeeCee


“I’m really grateful I took this course…it has been extremely helpful. Thank you for all the work you put into organizing the material. It has been wonderful to have such a thorough well thought out structure to follow.” -- Summer


“I just wanted to reach out and thank you for a great semester and class in Busi 520: Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling. I can honestly say the class has taught me so much more about excel than I ever realized. Although the homework’s and quizzes could be time consuming and difficult, I truly do appreciate the difficulty because it really helped reinforce the necessary skills that you were trying to have us learn. Thank you for always responding quickly to all my questions and for a truly exceptional class. I can proudly say I am an Excel Badass!” -- Kevin


“I wanted to thank you for teaching an awesome class this semester….Your class was recommended to me as “one of the best and most useful classes in the B-school,” and that’s a description I can stand by.  I am not sure what I will do after I graduate, but I know the knowledge I gained will prove invaluable.  I will definitely recommend your class.” – Jeremy

“This class has been one of the most practical and applied classes I've taken at UNC. You were a great professor, and I owe my Excel Bad-Assness to you.” - Michael


“Mainly, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this course.  I feel like since it’s a course where everything is done on the computer, I appreciated the freedom of being able to learn and work on my own and at my own pace.  I liked the format of this class a lot.  I learned a ton (which I know I’ll carry over to my job at Capital One this summer), but I didn’t ever stress out about this class.  And as a second semester senior, I really appreciated that.  You responded quickly whenever I emailed you with questions and were always right on point with your help.  Your notes were clear and went along well with the book.  The homework assignments were so helpful in reinforcing the material, really to the point that as I studied for the final, I realized that I remembered most everything.  Then the quizzes also helped me to see what I may have missed from the readings and the homeworks.  Once again, I LOVED being able to do the assignments in my room or on vacation or watching the Super Bowl (yes, that happened)…but that freedom was so helpful.  Also, I appreciated that you posted two modules at a time because I could work ahead if I knew I had a busy week the next week.  I learned so so so much about excel, and I will join the ranks of UNC graduates who recommend this class as the one UNC class you can’t graduate without taking.” -- Natalie


“I am a Kenan-Flagler graduate (2010) and I took your Excel class as a senior.  As you probably hear a dozen times a day, I learned a lot from the class but couldn’t conceptualize how integral these techniques were until a few years later!  I’ve been dubbed the “Excel Wizard” by my colleagues but I know that there are so many more things I could be doing with the program, and anticipate needing to flex my Excel muscles as my responsibilities at work continue to grow.” -- Katherine


“Thanks for an outstanding class! I have really learned a lot – prior to this semester I was afraid of entering the corporate world because I was really Excel illiterate, but I feel much more comfortable now, so I really want to thank you!” -- Kasper


“I took your class last year as a senior and am now in the MAC program. I have been working part time and extensively using excel this year and I cannot thank you enough for all that you taught me in your class. It has been one of the most beneficial tools of my career thus far.” – Stephen


“I have really enjoyed your course (520). I feel like it is super relevant for my career! I think 90 pct. of the courses I have done so far have been theoretic to a degree that makes the it very hard to apply to a real life job.” -- Lars


“I wanted to genuinely thank you for your class last semester…if I hadn't had the experience I would have literally drowned during my internship this summer.  I spent the summer in San Francisco working on data validation, auditing, and equation building.  I spent easily 10 hours a day in excel and the program has become my best friend.  The entire time I was silently thanking you for the skills you taught in your class.  I still had a ton to learn, but without your foundation I have no idea where I would have been.  I was offered a job upon graduation with the company and the main reason they said besides hard work was my excel skills.  So thank you Professor are one of the main reasons I will be gainfully employed in June.”  -- Jackson


“Thanks for a great class.  I’ve heard a lot of people say this is the most useful class in the business school, and now I understand why.”  -- Joe


“Your Excel class was the most useful class that I took at UNC.”  -- Carroll


““I have been in college for many years (6+), and that was definitely one of the more effectively designed finals I have ever taken.  By effective, I mean that the test hit on target concepts that facilitate excel use, which drives home the real-world application of the program.  Additionally, the test merged critical thinking elements with the step-by-step processes, making it effective in actually evaluating understanding, rather that useless memorization.”  -- Rich


“I just wanted to send you a thank you email because I am in my graduate level Healthcare Consulting class doing a PivotTable in-class exercise.  I was finished with it while they were still explaining the assignment and the rest of the class is still working on figuring it out (15-20min later).  I’m going around helping people as much as I can, but they’re having trouble keeping up because I barely even click the mouse anymore.  Your (and my) wish for your BUSI 520 class to be the most useful class I ever take at UNC is definitely true!   Thanks again for making me an Excel Badass!”  -- Kevin


“I wanted to tell you that I continue to use the Excel skills I learned in your class on an almost everyday basis….  Again, I want to reiterate and you can tell your current students how useful in the “real world” your class has turned out to be for me.  I use Excel every day in my business and when I was in Charlotte, I even taught older people I worked with things about Excel that made their business more efficient.  A good way to impress the big wigs…”  -- Crayton


“I think your class was and will be a useful tool for my professional and even personal life and I know for a fact I learned a great deal from it. I really had no Excel knowledge before your class and now I am actually creating spreadsheets with complicated formulas for fun. I guess you could say I’m an excel badass; or trying to be. I cursed a couple times during the homework but I am very grateful for my new skills.” – Kyle


“I would like to let you know how unbelievably useful the skills I learned in your class have been during my summer internship.  I have had to use Excel nearly every day at work this summer and attribute most of the success of my internship to skills acquired in your class.  As you mentioned on the first day of class last Spring, I have even been able to wow my coworkers by helping them solve their problems in Excel.”  -- Josh


“…If I could have taken your class before my internship with Ernst & Young in China, I would have been so much more efficient and productive at work. …” -- Betty


“I was in your class last fall. I really enjoyed it, and I learned a lot.  I've talked to some people who work for the big firms in investment banking and public accounting and almost everyone has emphasized how much they use Excel and what an advantage it is to be very good at it.”  -- Michael


“I should have taken your class a long time ago …” -- Nic


“Thank you for giving us a wonderful class. I learned a lot in your class and think it's one of the most useful courses in Mac curriculum.”  -- Jenny


“My name is Scott, I took your excel class last year.  I wanted to send you a quick email of thanks. I wish I had known how important your class would be in the real world. I know there were several nights I was up cursing the assignments, but in hindsight I wish I had taken the class a little more seriously. Even working in the sporting industry (which I am trying to get out of) I find that excel skills have been a definite plus. I can only imagine they will be that much more relevant when I enter into a finance-focused environment.  Anyway, I wanted you to know that your class was good for me, and if I had the opportunity, I would take it again to fine tune my skills even more.”  -- Scott


“Great class…I learned a lot.  Kenan-Flagler needs more classes that teach computer programs that are essential to business. “ -- Kent


 “I just wanted to say thank you, I’ve learned a TON in your class and I like Excel ten times more than I ever imagined.  I use it regularly, and always take charge of my group teams for other classes when there is Excel to be done.”  -- Samuel


“I think the class has been one of the most helpful and relevant courses that I’ve taken at Kenan-Flagler.”  -- Ginny


“I just wanted to send you a quick email saying how much I enjoyed your computing class this semester. Your knowledge of Excel and Outlook made this one of my most interesting classes, and I look forward to continuing my education at Kenan-Flagler. I truly learned a lot from our book and class assignments. Thanks again for everything….” -- Matthew


“I just wanted to say that I probably learned more in your class than any other class I have ever taken.  I felt like I came a long way from the beginning of the summer and by the end I was actually decent at excel (which is saying a lot).  Your help and instruction really made learning the material a lot easier than it could have been and I just wanted to thank you.  I know that the work I put into your class will pay off in the future because Excel is such an important business tool and I am glad we were required to take this course.”  -- David


“I was fortunate enough to have taken your Excel class during my junior year I just wanted to write you a quick note to say thanks.  I am currently working for BB&T and doing some financial reporting for their Deposit Access Products group.  Not a day goes by that I don't use something that I learned in your class.  I thought you might want to know that your class was one of the most helpful that I took at Kenan-Flagler.”  -- Will


“I just wanted to thank you, for EVERYTHING you taught me.  Showing some of your old homework assignments to a prospective employer helped me get a job.  To expand on that even more, last week I was assigned a project to analyze pricing for a 1300 unit condominium project.  In a matter of a few hours I was able to use excel, working alone, to produce a report that previously took two people two days to do (I was given the project Tuesday morning, due by the time I wanted to leave the office FRIDAY, and handed it in Tuesday afternoon).  At the company meeting the next day I was commended for my efforts and affirmed that I was an "excel bad ass" (as you so eloquently put it).  My boss now calls me "bad ass" and has scheduled me to teach an excel class for the rest of the company!  THANK YOU!!” -- Scott


“I appreciate that the homework examples were practical and gave me skills that I can use when I am back in the work world. I thought I knew Excel pretty well until taking this course, but now that I have I can honestly say I know Excel. I wish I would have known some of the tools I learned in this course while at my previous jobs!”  -- Jennifer


“I wanted to let you know personally that I appreciated the opportunity to complete the course online vice attending a lecture format.  It made the summer session a lot easier being able to do your assignments on my own schedule.  As you predicted day one, I thought I was an Excel "badass" but I found out I didn't know as much as I thought I did.  This was a great class and I understand this material will be essential to us in the accounting world.”  -- Cristy


“This was that class, where in the beginning I figured it was going to be the biggest pain in the ass (which in a lot of ways it was) but without getting any useful things out of it (this was the part I was wrong about).     I am that dork that figured that if outlook was that important to you, I would give it a try. It is rocking my online world (the address book is stellar).  And then after complaining to my old brother (37 yr old) about how much I hated excel. He responded to me that I was a dumbass and that excel is the one thing he wishes he had learned. I think the way he phrased it was that if you took all of the stuff he learned in business school and traded it for just knowing excel he would be making more money right now.  So to answer your question (which may very well have been rhetorical), yup I am pretty excited about graduating into the realm of “Travis Certified Excel Badass”


“You are the man.  Thank you very much for your help.  I use Excel on a daily basis and the formulas, formatting, and especially the shortcuts have been extremely helpful.  Thank you. … My Excel skills, especially the fact that I am Microsoft certified, proved extremely instrumental in the job interview process.  Further, ALL of my friends who never received ANY formal Excel training are struggling in their new jobs.  I think that every student who graduates from Carolina should be exposed to Excel and basic Microsoft Office functions.  If you tell me which dean to contact, I would gladly write an email explaining how much your class and your teaching style is helping me post-graduation.”  -- Peter


“I just wanted to thank you for your hard work in teaching us.  I am confident to say that I’ve became an Excel Bad-ass now!  I found your class to be one of the most practical classes in the business school.”  -- Min


“i've used everything i've learned from the class in summer internships i've had since then- and everyone in the office starts to come to me to fix their excel problems!  really makes me more valuable as an employee, and helps to make a good impression! thanks!”  -- Nidhi


“Hi Travis – I just wanted to say thanks. Your class was one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve had at the b-school, and undoubtedly one of the most useful in life.”  -- Annie


“I just wanted to thank you for the class.  Though I felt at the beginning of the class that had already gained a good basis in Excel through prior business experience, your class helped me pick up new skills and see new ways to do things.  It was a fun class and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate you and everything you did.”  -- Jen


“I wanted to thank you for a great semester, it was one of the few classes I actually felt I was learning something that I would be putting to use in the future.”  -- Taylor


“Your personality really put me in a good mood when I was having a bad day.  Wish more professors were like you.”  -- Vickie


“Once again, thanks for the opportunity to take your class.  I’ll admit, I was skeptical about how much I’d learn but you took me to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.  I am so glad I took it!”  -- Will