You teach accounting and finance courses for information systems and public policy master students. What materials do you use to teach?
I prefer using digital and online textbooks for a couple of reasons.† Students often spend money on books they donít use and thatís troublesome.† Also, when students leave my class and eventually Heinz, they are not going to be trudging around with their old text books. Itís much more practical to have the information available on the web or in a computer file. I donít expect anyone can remember everything from the class forever so this way students can always find the information they need now and in the future.
How does your outside work translate to class?
In addition to teaching at CMU, I have a lot of experience in economic development.††† The topics and techniques I teach to founders of emerging companies is a subset of what I teach in the classroom.†† I try to take a relatively practical approach to understanding financial statements and using finance to help manage projects. In class we spend more time on the underlying theory and we have the luxury of discussing broader applications and their impact on the individual company as well as the overall economy. I have had a lot of experience working with high-tech companies both as an auditor for entertainment and high tech firms in LA and as a business consultant.† I saw the mistakes companies make, as well as the innovative things that they do really well. I use these examples in class to give students insights and provide real life examples of topics we cover.
What would you like to teach your students about life?
† Related to the classes I teach, I have found that people are generally afraid of numbers so if you can get comfortable with number crunching, youíll have an advantage over others who are not.
Really, at the end of the day, all you have is your integrity.†† Grades are important but after your first job out of school, itís unlikely that anyone will be concerned with your GPA in the work place so do not jeopardize your integrity for a little better grade.
Get out of your ďcomfort zone.Ē Use graduate school to try new things and meet new people. It may be easier to take classes in which you already have some background and stick with students you already know but if you do that you are squandering an opportunity.† This is your chance to experiment with new subjects to see what interests you and what you can really do as well as build a network of people to help you after graduation.† If you are obsessed with always getting the highest grade, you may not take many risks and therefore not fully benefit from your education.
Created July 18, 2006