Rich Schott, Senior Instructor of Economics & Business, talks about teaching at Albright College.
Meet Our Faculty: Rich Schott
I was very much raised in a liberal arts tradition from a prep school. I had a passion for music and the arts. But I got to that point when I realized in college that I couldn't compete at the level to make a profession or living. So I took a chance on business because it's what my parents did. And I just started taking courses and I love them. The courses that I fell in love with were really management and marketing courses, which are the courses that I still teach today. And honest to god, I still love them. My name is Rick Schott, and I'm senior instructor of business, specializing in the field of management, marketing and sport management. My favorite topic to cover in class is really business strategy. I think businesses today, especially businesses that have gone through tough times, if they only use time tested strategic concepts, I say, maybe they wouldn't have closed. Business concepts really remain very much the same. And that's what I hope that I communicate, is these steady concepts.
The other topic that I just really enjoy is business history. I think students can recognize my excitement because my eyes light up, and I get excited partly because I lived apart of it. I worked in manufacturing, and I just loved being in the heart of business, especially in a manufacturing environment, where things are happening all the time and moving at a very fast pace. So I love business history. I believe I'm giving my students knowledge that they can use to either grow their business or to help grow the business that they work with. These are time tested skills, they work. Even though technology has changed the concept of business growth and strategy has not changed since time immemorial. It's just a matter of applying the concepts, and that's what we do here. We teach people how to apply the concepts. We hear at Albright, don't only pull people into our own majors, we respect their interest in journeys, and we're very willing and quick to send them to another area of study. Choosing your major is an individualized experience. And what is beautiful about Albright College is the fact that we get to know students so closely because we're in a very interactive environment, and the culture is so personalized. I push students to exceed their goals. First of all, by asking them, What are your goals? Some people can tell you right away, my goal is to be this-- I'm like great. Have you thought about the path to get there? And then there's other students who just really have no idea. Then we start from ground zero and I say, What's your dream? What do you really want to do? Tell me about some things that are not necessarily school or academic related but that you do for fun. And since business is a great field to be applied, to really any area, I try to connect their joy to finding perhaps a business application.
My expectations of students in class is that they make a reasonable commitment to the class and that they're engaged, and that they show interest. I encourage professional development in my students by first of all having a conversation with them. I have to get an idea of what are they really looking for? What are they interested in? What are they striving for? The beauty about Albright is we can send them in so many different ways with expertise in so many different ways. Sometimes it's an internship, and we can connect them with an area organization or alum. Sometimes it's sending them to our career development and Experiential Learning Center, where we have professionals that can go through databases, or alumni office to find experts in the field, people they can talk to. We try to get them networking. The best advice I have to students, as they move forward in their careers and their life passion, is really to just keep learning to keep exploring, and to be willing to step outside the box and go multiple directions. I tell them you've got a degree from Albright College, it shows anyone you could ever work for that I know how to learn, and I'm going places.
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