MBA Programs - Continuing Education in Florida
Professors talk about their approaches to teaching leadership skills.
Assistant Professor - University of Tampa
Courses: Corporate Management Strategy (Finance); Advanced Corporate Management Strategy
Lonnie Bryant teaches business professionals how to value a building, plant or company. “Most of my students are not math oriented, so the first month I’m building their comfort level with math concepts,” he says.
Students learn how to read an income statement and balance sheet and financial statements and understand the underlying information. “They need to know where the numbers come from,” Bryant says.
For Facebook’s IPO, for example, Bryant taught students how to examine who the stakeholders and customers are, how the company earns money, how much can be generated from advertisers and how the market values competitors such as Google. “We looked at an entry strategy — when to buy and when to get out.”
Bryant also showed students how to evaluate the cost of buying a corporate jet or opening an additional business location. “Sometimes finding data and implications in real time does take effort.”
Once they have the tools to evaluate decisions, the challenges begin. Bryant usually breaks the class into two teams — buyer and seller. Then he asks students to debate the value of a company. They have to convince the other side that their valuation is best. “Of course, one wants to buy low and the other wants to sell high.”
Throughout the rest of the course, he introduces scenarios for the teams to debate that could involve future projections and require negotiation skills. “It’s great because students want to engage each other and show how smart they are. The classroom is a smaller setting, and they can network and get to know each other’s skill sets.”
In his advanced course, Bryant teaches a higher level of strategy and different methods of valuing such things as buyouts, commodity companies or firms in financial distress.