I started my teaching job this week at Creighton University. Wednesday night I met with what ended up being the 19 students I’d have for the next 11 weeks. It’s a Finance class for Entrepreneurial Ventures and is at a graduate level. Many of the students are Social Entrepreneurship majors, though I have some Philosophy majors, graphic designers, Economics majors, and MBA’s.
And the thing is, they all want to change the world… they have this very innocent curiosity and undiluted enthusiasm for what is waiting for them outside the university walls. They want to do good things and it’s refreshing to be in that kind of energy. Outside of a few, they have close to zero experience with finance. I realize I have a big job ahead of me. And even though I felt moments of nerves in the weeks leading up to the class, once we were in the room it was an easy group to speak with and they were engaged and active in our discussions. I felt very much at home.
And I told, them; well, I promised them actually, that I would give them valuable information that they could use when they left the classroom after 11 weeks. I want them to have a meaningful experience. I want them to appreciate that at the end of the day understanding the numbers behind the work, whatever that work might be, is worthwhile. I want them to realize that it’s actually pretty fun. I want them to realize it’s another tool that will make them a better version of themselves. I look forward to seeing it take shape.
I noticed more than a few sets of wide eyes as I used phrases like, “Pro forma financial statements” and “calculating a discount/risk-adjusted rate of return” and “NPV.” We spent our first class – almost three hours worth of time talking about what the expectations would be, the first two chapters on risk and financial goals, and some ways for them to start making connections between business decisions and the financial implications. Light bulbs were definitely starting to turn on. So, the next ten weeks will be an adventure. For them, for me, and for whatever is waiting for them on the other side.