As a part-time professor at RMIT, Christina dedicates one full day every week to teaching the Personal Wealth Management module of the Bachelor of Business in Economics and Finance programme. It’s demanding, but her passion for sharing her real-world experience with her students makes Christina a fantastic lecturer.
Christina believes that putting what they learn in the classroom to good use outside it, helps her students understand concepts better.
“I provide practical examples that relate to the theories in the books. This lets the students know what they’re learning is really happening out there. For example, I encourage them to start applying the tools they learn about in my class to their personal or family financial plan,” explains Christina.
As a former practitioner of wealth management Christina offered a range of financial advice to high net worth clients, and often uses that experience as a teaching tool in the form of case studies.
“Case studies usually spark excitement as they support what the students have learnt with real-world scenarios,” she says. “So I can use a case study on estate planning to demonstrate how trusts and wills are useful tools to protect and preserve wealth.”
And she doesn’t limit herself to a specific industry either. Instead, she takes a wide approach to teaching the practical skills students might need later in life.
“Lines between sectors have begun to blur and career paths are more fluid, so skills from outside the industry can also be useful,” says Christina. “For example, understanding how to communicate, compromise and share credit are skills that are relevant across industries.”
But this does not mean that theoretical knowledge doesn’t have an important role to play in a well-rounded education. Christina tries to balance theory and practise to prepare her students for the realities of the workplace.
“While theory helps students understand how things work, practical education allows them to acquire specific skills that will become the tools of their trade,” she says. In other words, practise gives muscles to the bones of theory.
This dual approach works brilliantly because every student responds differently to teaching, and a single method doesn’t work. Theory could work better if you are someone who can memorise easily, while others learn best through more hands-on means.
“The switch from teacher-centric to student-centric teaching means that we have to mix and match practise and theory for the best outcomes,” says Christina. “When I teach risk management theory, I know that some of my students need to know how it works in practice to be able to better understand it. So I highlight some ways in which they are already managing risk. A good example is when they purchase a warranty for electronic equipment to safeguard their purchase.”
In this way, RMIT offers you an integrated experience through the perfect mix of great education and excellent partnerships with the industry in the form of teaching staff who bring real-world experience to the table. The result is a holistic education that better prepares you to hit the ground running when it’s time to enter the workplace.