'There is no reason not to succeed in Twente'

| Michaela Nesvarova

'More cooperation between business administration and technology can be beneficial to the mission of the University of Twente,' says Iftekhar Hasan, Professor of Finance from the Fordham University in New York and a guest professor at the UT. As a renowned expert, he has been invited to assist with new research initiatives and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

Professor Hasan is an esteemed scholar in the field of finance, banking and emerging markets. He serves as the scientific advisor to the Bank of Finland and has also worked with venture capitalists, private equity funds or banking institutions. This week he is visiting the UT as a guest professor at the Department of Finance & Accounting.

This is your second visit at the University of Twente. What is the main purpose of your stay here?

'I´ve spent most of my career working at management schools with engineering setting. I have known Rez Kabir (chair of the UT´s Department of Finance & Accounting) for over twenty years and he contacted me to advise the department on taking interdisciplinary research initiatives that are consistent with the overall mission of the university.'

How will you accomplish this?

'I´m here to share my experience with the faculty members and to instruct students in the area of finance and business administration. My goal is to make a small contribution as an academic and share my expertise. The building blocks are here, I´m only helping to strengthen them. I´m mainly playing a role of an advisor and I´m involved in teaching Bachelor and Master students and supervising PhD researchers. I listen to the students and give them my input on how they should tie their work to the focus of the university, as well as practical business perspectives.'

What is your field of expertise?

'My basic interest is in banking and corporate finance, the financial side of new ventures and entrepreneurship. Even the best technological innovation needs to have a cash flow component in order to succeed. Innovators come up with great technologies and they want to commercialize them, but they are often unaware of the financial side of things, they are not trained in it. That´s where we come in. We don´t want them to spend time on finance and accounting, we want them to innovate, and so we create an easy path to the market for them.'

What are your impressions of the University of Twente?

'I´m tremendously impressed by the location and atmosphere. I congratulate the school for creating a sound research environment. There is no reason not to succeed here. I think the university´s vision is great, it is very practical and focused on application of technology, which really impressed me. This university categorically says it wants to have a societal impact. I think the social sciences and the Business Administration group can be very helpful on that mission.'

What do you think of the local people?

'Dutch are transparent - what you see is what you get. They are also very progressive. They always talk of issues ahead of others. Students here are very well-behaved and motivated, which makes me very happy, because as professors we are their intellectual parents.'

Will there be further cooperation between the University of Twente and the Fordham University?

'This trip was about helping as an individual. However, we have talked about starting an exchange program for UT students and Fordham students. I work at a fantastic university with world class programs in business administrations and liberal arts, among others. For UT students New York is going to be an exciting setting and our students would also find the UT environment attractive. Under the guidance of our respective deans, we are also discussing the possibility of faculty exchanges.'

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