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MSLCE Professor ‘Flips’ the Classroom in Finance Course

By Joe Giovannetti

Finance is the language of business.

This is the phrase MSLCE Professor Cory Sandrock championed over his 9-week winter class, Introduction to the Creative Enterprises. In this short time, Sandrock aimed to teach students the principles of economics, accounting, and corporate finance to aid them in their creative careers.

The students arrived on the first day of class to meet their first challenge: develop an idea for a new creative enterprise in the arts, entertainment, or media industries. Sandrock divided the class into eleven groups and laid out the instructions for their final project; the students had to work together to create an idea for a business venture, write a business plan, create “bulletproof” financial statements, and pitch the project to potential investors (played by the class), all in nine weeks!

In order to help the MSLCE students achieve this goal, Sandrock masterfully weaved together a fast-paced curriculum to get a room full of “creatives” comfortable with the basics of financial concepts such as economics, supply and demand, accounting, forecasting, valuation, and raising money. Through homework, group work, and case studies, the class gained valuable skills that enabled them to balance financial statements, calculate growth, and speak the language of business more fluently than ever before.

Sandrock took an innovative approach to this curriculum by using the flipped-classroom approach. Popular in many educational institutions around the country, this method shakes up the traditional lecture format of collegiate classes; students viewed pre-recorded lectures on the topic before arriving to their scheduled course time. Consequently, the students were able to grasp the concept prior to class, and were able to maximize their meeting time to discuss, ask questions, and work through more complicated examples to aid their understanding of the material.

On March 8, the MSLCE cohort came armed and ready to “wow” the class with their financial knowledge, business plans, and pitch presentations for their final projects; some project highlights included a fine art studio and coffee shop, an Asian restaurant intended to showcase upcoming music artists, a children’s theatre company, and an app to help young professionals make new friends.

The MSLCE students finished up their winter quarter with a newfound understanding of the alphabet that makes up the language of business. With this understanding, they will be able to speak this language as they journey into the creative industries.

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