[Taveena Atsu| Features Sub Editor]
Ian Finlayson is a lecturer in a range of different business subjects, as well as English Language. He keeps himself busy and commutes between Hatfield and London as he is also a professor at the ‘European School of Economics.’
However, Finlayson hasn’t always been in teaching. He tells us that, just before working at Herts; he “was a management consultant working for American and British firms for eight years.” He has done his fair share of career changes too; “before that, I worked in banking and package goods in various marketing and senior management roles.”
Finlayson spent many years in the corporate world but said he “decided to teach because, after graduating, I did a bit of teaching which I greatly enjoyed.” Clearing his mortgage gave him the freedom to pursue a career that he “found more meaningful than making more money than I needed in corporate life.”
Finlayson sees everyday as a “stimulating challenge” as he explains that no matter what is planned, there’s no way to tell what mood the teacher, or the students, will be in. But challenges like these make Finlayson enjoy teaching.
He suggests that to build a relationship with your lecturers helps in the long run. And that teachers appreciate feedback too, it can help increase productivity in the classroom.. As long as you approach them in the right way, the relationship you’ve built with yours will enable you to do just this.
Finlayson highlights the rewards of “working with interesting people, people who have their lives before them.” He tells us that learning isn’t just a one way thing, “I learn a lot from students believe you me.” It’s hugely rewarding for him to think that he’s made a difference in people’s lives because for him, teachers played a key role in shaping the man he is today. “There were three teachers in particular who helped to make me who I am. And I know from many students that I come across, I make a difference in their lives.”
He said, “When you’re in the classroom there’s nobody telling you what to do,” the high level of autonomy, variety and contact with others in teaching means that ‘it offers a lot of amusement.. a lot of delightful moments with many people.” For Finlayson “there’s no doubt about it, my life is richer because of what I’ve been doing for the last few years …. And there’s no time limit on how young or old you have to be which makes it even better.”