Georgia Banking School Faculty Profile

Ron Best
Bank Exec Instructor, Georgia Banking School
Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance
Richards College of Business
University of West Georgia

Q: What was your first job, and was there a lesson you learned there that you still use today?

A: My first part-time job was sweeping the floor at a local clothing factory in South Georgia. I learned to always show up on time and do the best job you can. I also learned that I did not want to work there forever.

Q: Tell us a little about your career journey.

A: My career journey was not really "planned." I was a risk management and insurance major as an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia (UGA) after at some point majoring in everything from poultry science to accounting. I took numerous computer programming classes as electives and my first job out of college was as a programmer. A couple of years later I decided to return to UGA for my MBA and chose finance for my concentration because I was told to pick an area related to my undergraduate degree. I had no plans to continue my education until one of the professors asked if I had ever thought about going on for a PhD. To be honest, more time in school sounded better than heading straight back to the work world, so I chose that path. I entered the PhD program in finance at Georgia State University, which is where I met Dr. Ernie Swift, who was the doctoral program coordinator. After finishing the program, my first teaching position was at the University of South Alabama (USA) Ernie called me and told me he would like me to help him at the Alabama Banking School that was taught on USA's campus. Little did I know that I would still be "helping" at banking schools over twenty years later.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style?

A: I try to keep the focus on teaching, not presenting. I do my best to find everyday examples to explain financial concepts, and I request that my students ask any questions that come to mind. I also try to get my students to "do something," because learning by doing works.

Q: What should Georgia Banking School students expect to take away from your instruction?

A: I love the banking simulation class because it forces students to apply banking and finance concepts to management situations. My primary goal in the course is to help participants leave with an understanding of the big picture. Every choice you make when managing a bank has implications for other areas of the bank. Trade-offs are constantly faced and the environment is always changing.

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A: I am a carpenter at heart. I love building things. My wife and I built our cabin in South Georgia primarily with help from other family members, and I have finished about 75 percent of our basement with the other still in progress.