Professor Randy Kemnitz is well-versed in the world of finance.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his earliest money memories stem from stories his mother, a bookkeeper, told him about people who did not manage their money well. "I learned early on that you have to manage your finances and not let your finances manage you," he said.
Kemnitz holds a BBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a master's from The College for Financial Planning, and is a PhD candidate at Kansas State University's Institute for Financial Planning. According to Kemnitz, teaching finance students online is both challenging and rewarding, and allows him to share his experience with students.
Here's how Kemnitz brings his industry experience into the online classroom:
How did you come to teach online at JWU?
A good friend of mine recommended JWU to me, and me to JWU. It was in the early development of the financial planning program, and I was excited about the opportunity. It has been great — terrific program and wonderful students.
What did you learn about online learning during your first online teaching experience?
I learned the importance of finding ways to build relationships without a classroom. It may be more challenging, but it has its own set of rewards. I also learned the importance of clear communication. Without the benefit of a traditional face to face setting, communication becomes even more important.
How does your industry background help you educate future finance professionals?
I fully understand the importance of the content I am teaching. I have seen it in action with individuals and corporations. I share insights and stories of what works and work does not work. I share anecdotes to lighten the discussion and emphasis when it is needed. Mostly, I know that what I'm teaching has practical application.
What excites you about the industry today?
There is a significant, growing need for financial planners in the US. Our financial world just gets more complex, pushing that need even more. My academic training has given me the scientific basis for finance, and my experience has given me the practical application of academic training. The field of personal finance offers practitioners who may possess many skill sets opportunities for success.
What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
For those who know Milwaukee, this may not be a surprise, but I have won prize money in bowling tournaments. Bowling is big there!
What do you do in your free time?
Free time? These days, I am working on my doctoral dissertation. I am studying the causes and effects of financial stress in college students. My research is focused on better understanding the impact of financial stress on a student's perception of his or her future. My hypothesis argues that students feeling financial stress will not be as optimistic about their future. Also, I am big Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers fan. I make sure to find time to watch them in action.
What’s your best piece of advice for a student hoping to pursue a career in finance?
Do it! I have worked on academic research seeking to understand why students choose a finance career. What struck me is the variety in their interests; some enjoy working with math and problem solving — certainly finance offers those opportunities. Other students wanted to work with and help people. Certainly, personal financial planning offers those opportunities as well. The need is great, the opportunities are vast, and the rewards are many.