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Fundamentals of Business and Finance teaches students life skills

Dr. Ed Harris
Dr. Ed Harris poses for a selfie with his Fundamentals of Business and Finance class.

“Welcome to BizFin!” Dr. Ed Harris said, greeting students in his classroom with a smile on the first day of school. “It’s going to be an exciting year.” 

The Fundamentals of Business and Finance class, or BizFin, is a part of the new Gordy Family Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Finance (CLEF). The addition of the class has provided a novel opportunity for students to gain knowledge of money management skills that they will encounter in adulthood. 

Students in the past have advocated for a class teaching personal finance, which would include insight into topics such as insurance, investing and taxes.

“I’ve always had an interest in finance and business, but Kinkaid has never had a class covering the basics,”  junior Jason Zhang said. “However, with the addition of the Fundamentals of Business and Finance class, I get the chance to finally learn about these topics.”

Dr. Harris, director of CLEF, teaches all the BizFin classes and students already have high praise for his knowledge and insight in the field.

“Dr. Harris has been an amazing teacher,” said Abby Shi, a junior. “He is very qualified in the field and has provided us with information about his personal experience.”

Students have also raved about the content they have learned and its application to the real world.

“I have gained a new perspective on how I view the world. I’ve learned about types of biases, the corn market, and even brainstormed my own financial goals,” junior Cooper Chambers said. 

The class has provided lots of insight into adulthood and financial obligations, but some students wonder how it is different from the pre-existing economics course.

“While there was some overlap in the first couple weeks of classes this semester only, we are now going on separate paths; and the courses will be entirely different going forward,” Dr. Harris said. “Economics focuses on the overall structure and function of the market and examines different types of economic systems. BizFin focuses on the individual with their personal finances at the outset of the semester; and then we examine how businesses are organized and what goes into running and financing a successful business.”

Students are also excited about future opportunities at Kinkaid.

This month, CLEF will introduce its Leadership Seminar Series for 11th and 12th graders, which brings career professionals and community leaders to Kinkaid to speak with students about their profession and what they’ve learned along the way. The first Seminar will be on Wednesday, September 20, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Moss Amphitheater. Industry expert Anne Taylor will have a conversation with students on the topic of preparing to lead in a radically changing business environment.

There will be an opportunity for students to learn more during Interim Term.

In the Principles of Investing course, which will occupy all four periods of interim term, local financial professionals, many of whom are Kinkaid alumni, will help teach the fundamentals of investing and give students an experience similar to that of an internship. 

This Interim Term course will also work with the endowment board to prepare students to succeed on the new Student Investment Committee next semester. 

The Student Investment Committee will be given a portion of Kinkaid’s endowment fund in a student portfolio, which will give students the opportunity to work with the Kinkaid Endowment Board and put their investing skills into practice. This Committee is only open to students who successfully complete the Fundamentals of Business and Finance course and the Principles of Investing course taught during Interim Term. 

Students can now learn more about CLEF and its plans on the Gordy Center page on Kinkaid’s website.

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About the Contributors
Alex Cai, Staff Writer
Josh Sweetland, Varsity Sports Editor
Josh Sweetland serves as the Varsity Sports Editor for The Falcon. This is his third year on staff. He plays varsity football and baseball and is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and Young Alumni Leaders. He is also interested in business and finance and is involved in Business Club, Sports Analytics Club, and the new Fundamentals of Business and Finance class.

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