Stories from our international boarding schools

EF Academy business teacher makes the world his classroom – Part I

Teacher on the Road – Finance 

Entrepreneur, business expert and IB teacher, John Dohrmann, decided to take his syllabus to a new level this year when he signed on to be EF Academy’s Teacher on the Road!

Since September, Mr. Dohrmann has been traveling from country to country and school to school to teach students in Asia, Europe and South America how to kindle their entrepreneurial spirit and make their start-up dreams a reality. Mr. Dohrmann kicked off the second round of his travels in Thailand at the beginning of the month and his boarding passes will take him to Spain, Norway, India, China and Hong Kong.

“Teaching in classrooms around the world has been an incredible experience,” he said. “One thing I’ve realized is despite the geographic distance, we are all quite similar – a 15-year-old in Kazakhstan is not that different from a Brazilian or Thai student.”

Students at high schools around the world have benefited from Mr. Dohrmann’s business-focused presentations, one of which is centered on the finance aspect of this broad and stimulating topic.

Mr. Dohrmann starts off his finance presentation with the quote: “Earning money is hard, losing money is easy” – a message that is at the heart of his lesson. He goes on to explain the three basic reasons that all businesses – large and small; new and old – need money: to start up, for day-to-day and ongoing operations, and to expand with new products into new markets.

But where do business get their money from? Mr. Dohrmann explains this as well, breaking down “internal sources” and “external sources” by using examples that his audience can relate to, like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple, Facebook and Alibaba. Clarifying the difference between private investors, bank loans and investment bankers is an important part of his presentation, as is defining initial public offering (IPO), which refers to the first time a company publicly sells shares of its stock on the open market.

“No matter what country I’m visiting, my high school students have been attentive and intrigued by what it takes to create a successful new business. That says so much about the generation that will be leading our businesses in the globalized 21st century,” Mr. Dohrmann said.

This post is the first installment of a three-part series that focuses on his three presentation topics. Keep your eyes open for Part II and Part III in the coming months!


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