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You don’t have to be in business to understand it

Ryan Umbeck answers a question during classRyan Umbeck teaches a class, Introduction to Financial Management (MGMT 304), which covers areas such as balance sheets, income statements and financial planning for businesses. The course investigates how financial decisions are made throughout an organization.

The catch? The class is not intended for business students.

"Our biggest group of students comes from Engineering, but we also draw from Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, and Health and Human Services," Umbeck says. "They want to find out how some basic financial areas will affect the businesses where they will work."

Umbeck, who earned a bachelor's degree in management and marketing and a master's in economics from Purdue, is a highly rated instructor. It's no surprise—his father, John, is one of Purdue's most highly decorated teachers in the economics department.

"I think my dad has been a big influence, and when you are the son of a professor, you understand a little about the profession," he says. "But I wasn't sure I would really like it until I taught as a master's students. I found it be both fun and rewarding."

Umbeck hopes to pass the rewards on to his students. He says that his class will be of value to a wide variety of future professionals.

"Whether or not you run a business, or whether or not you are a management student, I think you should have an idea what the financial aspects of business mean for a company," he says. "Beyond the corporate world, you can take these same concepts and use them for personal finance decisions, such as picking which investments you should make. This is a class that should provide lifelong value."