|Jifu Wang |
A diploma is good, but ability is the key. Just ask University of Houston-Victoria associate professor Jifu Wang.
“A degree is just a piece of paper,” he said. “It doesn’t buy you lunch or pay your bills. But if you have the capability to use the knowledge you’ve gained, look at situations and do what needs to be done, that will get you far. That is what we need students to know.”
It’s that real-world mindset that Wang, who teaches capstone courses for the university’s Strategic and Global Master of Business Administration programs, tries to impart on his students.
In Wang’s courses, he emphasizes three key factors to success – cognition capability, eagerness and a love for one’s work.
“A person needs a passion,” he said. “You need to have a fire in yourself. Without that, you can’t do anything. You won’t do anything.”
Wang’s passion comes from his place of employment – the UHV School of Business Administration.
While the university has experienced growth through the years, Wang said it is important to continue moving forward, developing programs and creating new revenue options.
A program already exists that allows students to study in Taiwan, and Wang has organized a similar program that will be offered in China for the first time this summer. Wang is involved in realigning business courses to improve their value. He also is supportive of branching out to new partnerships with area industries.
“You have to get to the companies,” Wang said. “Sometimes they give us donations, but that’s a one-way street. How can we contribute to them? Our mindset has to be set on growth.”
Wang earned a master’s degree in resource management from Auburn University in Alabama and an MBA in management from Emporia State University in Kansas. Later came a doctorate in management from Auburn.
He worked in business for years before joining the UHV School of Business Administration in 2001. He later took a two-year leave from academics when he worked as president of a financial company. The time away offered helpful perspectives he incorporated into the classroom.
“It was energizing,” he said. “I was building connections and seeing what was happening out in the business field. As I came back into academics, it was helpful.”
Away from work, Wang enjoys gardening, swimming and fishing. A longtime athlete – he played basketball in college – he still hits the courts when he can.
Wang said he enjoys what he does now, guiding students in business and encouraging them to go after their dreams. After all, success doesn’t come solely from completing course work. Pursuing what you love in life is vital.
“If you don’t like it, don’t do it,” he said. “If you do it, put your passion into it. Life is short. Why do something that doesn’t interest you?”
The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.