The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Recap: Excel Workshop with Mike Bush '11 and Emily Niehaus '12

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This October, the Rockefeller Center held a workshop on developing skills for Microsoft Excel. It was led by two Dartmouth alumni.

This term's workshop on Microsoft Excel was a huge hit on campus with a record number of sign ups. The four hour workshop, led by Mike Bush '11 and Emily Niehaus '12, promised to teach the comprehensive set of excel skills that any student or professional would need to succeed in school and in the workplace. Attended by students of all class years, graduate students, and staff, the event started promptly at 11 am in Carson Hall. Bush and Niehaus, associates of the strategy consultant firm Parthenon Group, began the workshop by establishing a foundation of basic excel techniques. Their primary focus was shortcuts, basically teaching students how to get things done in Excel in the quickest way possible. The goal was for students to discontinue the use of the mouse and save time by only using the keys.

An overview of features in Microsoft's Excel 2013.

As Bush demonstrated with a projected Excel document, Niehaus roamed the room, ready to answer questions. They soon moved into formatting skills such as sequencing and utilized Dartmouth-themed examples too keep things interesting. Bush and Niehaus also spoke to efficient navigating and viewing skills such as zooming and freeze panes. Throughout the workshop, the duo threw in relevant tricks that would make one’s life with Excel even easier. Paste special, for example, is one of Bush’s favorite tricks in Excel. Through examples utilizing first-year student dormitories, Dartmouth presidents, restaurants in town, and more, Bush and Niehaus taught students formulas to manipulate and analyze dates, perform calculations, and use functions, charts, and pivot tables. Each skill seemed to build off the prior one and become progressively more advanced. More advanced Excel techniques taught included V/Hlookups, Index, Filter & Sort, and Pivot Tables.

In the lunch break, students were given the chance to relax, eat a catered lunch, and grill the alumni about their past and current experiences. Bush and Niehaus offered some great life advice regarding classes they enjoyed at Dartmouth, what activities they were involved in, how they moved into consulting, and what they do with consulting now. Students reviewed this workshop with high regards and really appreciated the skills that were taught.

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