- Hilary Swan
- May 2, 2019
Richie Bloomfield is a 2014 dual-degree graduate of Huron University College and Ivey Business School, and he is currently a professor of the first year Business 1220E course at Huron University at Western. In addition to being passionate about the environment and music, he is a dedicated teacher who seeks to have a positive impact on every student. I sat down with him to find out about his educational journey and to learn about his goals as a teacher.
Tell me about your educational background and experience—what was the path that led you to teach the first-year business course at Huron?
I have a dual degree from the Ivey HBA program and Huron Globalization Studies Program. There is great overlap between Huron and Ivey, as both emphasize the benefits of learning in a smaller class. I was always in classes of 70 students or less. This was very valuable not only for my ability to learn, but also for getting to know my professors and forming connections within the learning environment. This smaller class advantage was something I experienced from the Business 1220E course and all the way through Huron and the HBA program. Another advantage I found was that both institutions have a reputation for promoting connections outside the walls of the school, and for strong alumni engagement. Ivey, for example, is known for its strong recruitment through alumni networks. Huron is known for its ability to provide support to its students, like a full team dedicated to working on finding internships for students, as well as valuable alumni connections. These elements were very beneficial for my educational experience at both Huron and Ivey.
Can you speak specifically to your decision to do a dual degree at Ivey and Huron?
I viewed the opportunity to finish a second degree in an extra year as a “no brainer” and I would share that advice to other students, as long as they enjoyed the courses in their initial major. For me, I loved both the Business Administration and Introduction to Globalization courses that I took in first year, so I chose to major in Globalization in second year. By the end of second year, I was in a place where I didn't want to give up studying what I was studying, so I decided to continue through the dual degree route.
What drew you to the area you focused on, Globalization Studies, and what did you gain from it?
My decision to pursue Globalization Studies had a lot to do with who taught me, and the influence of one professor in particular, Wendy Russell. Over time, due to the small class size and its ability to promote a strong rapport with professors, Professor Russell and I developed a wonderful connection. In fact, I recently asked her to be a director of an organization I co-founded called Urban Roots London. With respect to the program, Globalization Studies opened my eyes to see things from a different perspective. While high school taught me a lot of important skills, this program emphasized the interconnectedness between decisions in economics, politics, and philosophy, and how this has profound tangible impacts on human beings and societies.
What led you to teach business courses at Huron following the completion of your degree?
While at Huron and Ivey, I knew I wasn’t heading towards a job in consulting or finance. I was uncomfortable in a corporate setting, thinking of climbing the ranks to get to a place of autonomy. I wanted that autonomy sooner and wanted to be able to make a tangible impact on the community and in people’s lives. I had been a teaching assistant for a couple years, so when a teaching job popped up on the radar, I knew this could be a wonderful opportunity. Once I started, I fell in love with the job.
Teachers often have goals for student experience. What do you hope your students gain or learn from taking one of your courses?
One thing I am very big on is wanting students to be able to gain confidence so that they can feel comfortable in upper years studying what they are passionate about. They don’t need to be studying business later on, but I want them to feel good about taking the course. I want them to develop their confidence as students and critical thinkers. More academically-specific, I want them to leave the course with the ability to not only apply theory, but to apply theory in tangible and meaningful ways—which in my opinion, is done most effectively through the case study method.