Peter Ritchken, PhD, Kenneth Walter Haber Professor of Banking and Finance, is Faculty Director of the Master of Science-Finance (MS-Finance) program and a winner of the Weatherhead teaching excellence award. He teaches the MS-Finance capstone class, Projects in Risk Management, a non-traditional learning experience that takes students out of the comfortable, yet limited, classroom environment. Read on to learn more about Dr. Ritchken's perspective on the capstone.
Q: Why not stick to textbook teaching; why risk teaching real-world problems?
A: When I first started out, my classes were academic in nature, rigorous in theory. I enjoyed that aspect of risk management, and still do. But more recently, I am drawn to translating that knowledge into action. While case studies can do this to some extent, it really makes a difference to go into a firm, see their trading systems, understand their problems, and breathe in the realities of a workplace. What I have seen is that in such an environment, the students are completely transformed. They so want to succeed, and they are completely focused on learning. Witnessing this, and watching students transformed into mature analytical problem solvers, is incredibly rewarding as an educator.