I was strategically caffeinated going into my call with Dr. Thorsten Truijens due to a preconceived notion that finance is a mind-boggling complexity of mystifying calculations. You’ll imagine my relief then, when I realised that all I needed was to open my heart and listen! It’s no coincidence that Thorsten is consistently voted Best Lecturer by MBA students.
Thorsten is a very endearing person. “My first three priorities in life are family, family, and family,” he told me. This personal commitment aligns with his strong conviction that financial decision-making should always be accompanied by a long-term perspective. “There are plenty of business models out there that will make you a lot of money in the short-term, but they’re often devastating for society in the long-term. “A good entrepreneur knows how to avoid these temptations for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he confirmed.
Thorsten will teach two elective courses on the new full-time MBA programme. “Both draw heavily on a common-sense approach to long-term sustainable cash generation,” he explained. “You won’t find me explaining the details of Nobel Prize-winning concepts like the capital asset pricing model in these electives. I’ll be using real-world cases to provide our MBA students with the levers that they can pull to effectively interpret and challenge the numbers reported by their CFOs.”
Thorsten’s approach to teaching draws heavily on his own MBA experience in the US. “That’s where I learned that you don’t anchor a message with PowerPoint,” he said. “For didactic reasons, I tend to disagree with the students regardless of what they say – to make them think. And I want them to disagree with me. I want to have emotional discussions in the classroom. I feel this is what creates knowledge retention,” he added cheerfully.
As I reflect on our call, I feel a sense of calm accompanying the realisation that there’s an army of MBA alumni out there solving tomorrow’s challenges with an emotional finance chip installed by Thorsten Truijens!