Business professor makes student success priority
Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013 12:04
From his career beginnings working as a technical engineer to raising a family and going back to school for his MBA, Dan Holland’s life has been full of unexpected turns. However, students won’t find him complaining.
Holland was recently named the Huntsman School of Business Teacher of the Year,
and is an assistant entrepreneurship professor in the Huntsman School of Business.
“I got my undergrad at BYU in electrical engineering and then worked mainly with software development at various companies. It wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I headed back to BYU to get my MBA,” Holland said. “My career path changed rapidly and went all different directions until I found what I was passionate about. It was a fun process and I try to instill in my students that they have the privilege to try different things until they find their niche.”
Holland has worked on various different research projects in the business field and said he enjoys his job thoroughly. He likes teaching, but he also like hands-on work.
“Half of my job is teaching and the other half is research and service,” Holland said. “I do a lot of entrepreneurship decision making is what I focus on, and why entrepreneurs persist with the decisions they make.”
Holland said teaching is his favorite part of his job because he loves to engage students in course material and spark ideas to generate future businesses.
“I love teaching. It is a passion of mine,” he said. “Although the research is also very interesting to me, teaching provides immediate feedback while research does not. I particularly love working with students. I like to try to use a little creativity with my teaching style, keeping it interesting and exciting has always been a goal of mine.”
Steven Espinoza, a senior majoring in business marketing and entrepreneurship is an undergraduate teaching fellow for Holland.
“He brings to life the topics that he is teaching, I will never forget the first time sitting in class as a student and he walked in the room with women shoes, a mohawk, piercings, an unusual suit coat and shorts. The lesson being taught was on stereotypes and he put the point across extremely well,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza said he spends a lot of time working alongside Holland as has opportunities to teach on given days.
“I wouldn’t put myself in the category of a teachers assistant due to the fact that Dan honestly cares about every student and encourages me to work very closely with them to make the most of their experience,” Espinoza said.
Holland earning the Teacher of the Year award makes sense, Espinoza said.
“Based on the feedback I receive from students and relay back to him, every semester has been different in some sort of way due to the desires his students want to learn about,” he said.
Chad Albrecht is a professor in the Huntsman School of Business and has worked with Holland for six years. Between many different research studies, early morning study sessions with students and being office neighbors they have developed a great friendship, he said.
“Dan has always put his students first,” Albrecht said. “He will drop whatever he is doing to help out his students. He is always interested in what his students are looking to draw from the class and he will go to extreme measures to relay the lessons they want. He has shaved his head, dyed his hair and dressed in bizarre clothes. He truly cares about his students.”
The lower-division business classes are available to all students and can be an be exciting and beneficial to learning the skills needed to not only run a business someday, but to be a part of a business, Holland said.
“Truly seek for your passion,” Holland said. “We are so lucky to have so many opportunities to test out to see if it is what we want to do. Learn as much as you can, be passionate, and go out and change the world.”