My interactions with clients and students suggested that learning by experiencing, conceptualizing, and reflecting provides much better and longer-lasting results.”
From there, Professor Timura incorporated experiential learning theory throughout his career. While he spent over thirty years in the investment field, he also taught finance and economics at several universities, where he ultimately realized his goal. “My interaction with the next generation of investment leaders at those institutions convinced me of what I wanted to do for the next chapter of my life,” he explained. “Partly as a repayment to those who patiently mentored me over my professional life, I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences full time with others.” In 2015, Timura joined Kogod’s faculty, enabling him to do just that by bringing his research into the classroom.
Kogod students enrolled in one—or both—of Timura’s courses have the unique opportunity to manage assets and determine how to invest capital throughout the semester. FIN-576, the Student Managed Investment Fund course, allows students to experience the highs and lows of the stock market in real-time. REAL-470, the Real Estate Investment Trust course, enables students to manage real estate portfolios and apply their research to real-time market situations. In Timura’s view, there’s no better way to learn about investing than to be directly involved.
Investment management is not a spectator profession. One cannot develop that knowledge and experience without being an active participant in the decision-making process.”
“Even making mistakes is one of the greatest investment teachers. My experience suggests that even superstars in the field only get around half of their investment ideas correct, so there’s a lot of useable information to be acquired either way,” he explained.
In addition, Professor Timura will be involved with two new courses this fall. He and fellow professor of finance Catalin Stefanescu will teach Responsible Financial Citizens, a course in AU’s Complex Problems Seminar Series. The course will focus on how financial changes can be leveraged in larger societal systems to make way for beneficial policies, regulations, and institutions. Timura will also participate in the highly-anticipated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) course, which will notably use one percent of the university’s endowment funds to allow students to invest real funds. ESG has become a major topic of discussion in recent years, and Professor Timura believes this upcoming program will put Kogod students ahead of the curve.
“ESG investing is a tidal wave in the global industry, and Kogod’s student analysts will get first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities available in this domain,” he said. “This first cohort may represent the single largest student-based ESG learning program anywhere, and I couldn’t be more excited to begin with them.”
Though Professor Timura has committed his career to preparing students for a career in finance, he insists that he couldn’t do it without help. “The success of the finance department’s experiential investment work is a community effort,” he said. “From the board of trustees to the president and the dean, from the faculty to the students, alumni, and friends—everyone has had a meaningful hand in providing knowledge and experiences to each of our students.” With the combined work of the Kogod School of Business, Timura believes that students in these hands-on courses will graduate both with valuable life skills and with memorable experiences.