Pursuing a concentration in finance could make you more marketable, especially in our current economy. According to Dr. Marie Truesdell Reymore, dean of the School of Business, “A focus on finance opens the door to a completely different area of business and makes for a well-rounded business major, allowing for experience on the numbers side, as opposed to the marketing and management side of business.”
Even in management, as professor of finance Michael Jensen, points out, “all managers must prepare budgets, forecast cash flows, and evaluate projects for investment, and the principles taught in finance courses provide the required tools.”
Michael Jensen earned his M.B.A. from Indiana University Bloomington and is a CPA. He most recently served as regional vice president for the Federal Employee Program at WellPoint and has received national recognition from Blue Cross Blue Shield. He has diverse experience in operations, finance, accounting, and audit management within the private sector and the city and state governments. Jensen teaches FIN 310: Managerial Finance and FIN 360 Investments.
It was an interest in investments which first inspired Charlie Patten. Charlie teaches MAP courses in the finance concentration, including FIN 356: Principles of Real Estate and FIN 357: Risk and Insurance. Patten earned an M.B.A. with a finance concentration from Indiana University Bloomington and a J.D. from Indiana University Indianapolis. Although Patten is currently in private practice, specializing in individual and small business income tax and estate planning, he has a significant history working in the insurance industry and underwriting. According to Patten, his finance education helped in a number of jobs—particularly as a bank trust officer. Patten says, “I do think that a major in finance coupled with job experience in a growth field such as healthcare would be an excellent way to go.”
Tanya Corbett, our featured faculty member, teaches several MAP courses including FIN 356 Principles of Real Estate. Corbett became interested in real estate and finace, more than five years ago when she obtained her real estate license. Since then, she and her husband formed a side business in real estate investing. Over the years, they have bought and sold residential homes, rented out homes, acted as a landlord, and referred multiple people to their homes. Corbett says “real estate can be a very lucrative field particularly in more recent times, as it was (and still is) truly a buyers’ market, so there is a lot of opportunity to purchase homes/rentals at bargain rates.”
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and aspire to start your own business, a background in finance is imperative. Not to mention, as Jensen adds, “each of us is our own ‘small business’ and the same rules apply. Finance courses show us how to evaluate companies and investment choices to make the best decisions in our own personal finances.”