David Rodriguez

Assistant Professor of Finance

“Being in an environment of constant learning and being with the students is the most satisfying part of my job. Developing relationships with them over time and then being able to maintain these relationships after graduation is very rewarding.”

When David Rodriguez graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana, he went to work for a real estate developer. He soon earned his managing broker license and purchased his first multi-unit property.

Rodriguez started his own real estate company in Chicago a few months later that has now been in operation for 14 years. The company focuses on management, construction, and brokerage.

He completed his master’s degree in real estate while continuing to develop his business.

“Once the business was comfortable, I then moved on to my Ph.D.,” Rodriguez said. “When the company started doing well enough to permit us the leisure of moving away, we moved out of Chicago and now travel back and forth frequently.”

Rodriguez joined the faculty at Henderson State University in 2014 and has found teaching to be very rewarding.

“Teaching is, by far, one of the most fulfilling occupations,” Rodriguez said. “To be able to foster personal relationships with students while educating them on complex concepts is an incredible opportunity.

“My teaching method is to engage students whenever possible. I try to get students thinking about not only the topic at hand, but how it relates to a personal issue also.”

Rodriguez said this method will involve conversations through the class that seek to link current events to the material.

“At other times, the focus will be to get the students to think critically about the content and express their understanding through our discussions,” he said.

Rodriguez said finance is a subject that has always intrigued him.

“This is what I truly want to be doing,” he said. “If I stopped, I guess I would go back to spending more time in the day-to-day operations of our company, and volunteering.”

There is a misconception about where finance professionals go after graduation, Rodriguez said.

“Not all finance professionals work on Wall Street in investments or in banks,” he said. “Finance leads to careers that may go unnoticed in nearly all corporations such as a financial analyst or in areas such as financial planning and real estate.

“The point is simply that finance can be used to reach a fair number of destinations.”

Rodriguez advises students and potential students to not completely ignore their “soft skills.”

“A fair amount of finance does require soft skills,” he said. “Of course, you need to be comfortable with numbers and computations, but this is expected of all finance professionals. You need to be capable of conversing with not only peers, but also clients and customers.”

Rodriguez said he once spent “a fair amount” of his free time training for marathons and triathlons.

“However, now I am very involved in my five children’s lives, and my interest is whatever their interest is,” he said. “Whether it be coaching T-ball or soccer, I don’t really care as long as I am with them.”

Business Finance

Contact Info:

Degree and School:
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University

Linking the academic side of real estate to to the practitioner side.

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