Roles And Responsibilities
So, I had the wonderful opportunity to design a whole new course for SMU. It is called Financial Markets and Institutions. It is very much in the arena of my own strength. So that was a core course for all our finance majors as well as our non-finance majors, so it's actually a business core, and therefore, you will have a chance to influence many people. So, in the early days, we don't have our six schools, it is just one big SMU, one big business school. So the alignment was towards, we have to get that first batch of undergraduate students out and they have to be so good that no amount of advertising or branding is needed. So, the whole concentration of the energy, both from the academic perspective and the non-academic perspective, was aligned to get the best batch of pioneer students out.
And I think that's a wonderful exercise because we talked to many business people on what do they want to see as the first output from SMU. Many students like to think that they are the customers, but in the eyes of all of us in those early days, they are our raw materials. They are the inputs and we hope that we will have enough time and sufficient interaction to make sure that, four years later, they will be the best output that the market would want. And the real customers are the corporate clients, the government, the non-profit organisations taking our students as their talent. So, in fact, I've already had access to many corporate clients, right smack in the year 2000. We were talking to them about what kind of students and output they wanted. And I think that was a really great exercise because from the mouths of all the corporate leaders, we also know the challenge that they are facing on their own training programs for their own talent, and while exec ed was at the back of my mind, the vision started more with the undergraduate.