“SMC is a great school because instructors here take their jobs very seriously. For me to be teaching here is like winning the lottery!”
Ming Lu—or just Ming to his students—was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Texas. Then came UC Berkeley, grad school at USC, and a lucrative career in business. “Yeah, I worked in the corporate world before, and it was very monetarily rewarding. But at the end of the day, I just didn’t feel like I’d done much of anything. You trade in your time for money, and you just haven’t made a difference in anyone’s life,” says Ming. But that’s not at all the kind of life he plans to lead at SMC.
“I think that some teachers tend to just teach their classes, go to their committee meetings, and then go straight home,” say Ming. “But I like to mingle around the campus, to embrace it and really get to know my students. But I’m teaching so many classes now,” Ming says with a laugh, “that it’s getting kinda hard to know all my people.” In talking with Ming, you quickly realize that the guy is a born communicator; something accountants aren’t usually known for. “Yeah, most of us aren’t usually great talkers. But those of us who move to the top to become directors or VPs have got to be able to communicate our ideas to a lot of people who don’t have accounting backgrounds. And that communication is what I try to instill in my students. The world spins around money,” Ming continues, “and if you own a business—or just have to do your taxes—an accounting major can be pretty darned handy.”
Ming says that enabling and encouraging students is a lot more involved and complex than just spewing knowledge in a classroom. “I have a lot of foreign students and I tell them, ‘Hey! We’re in America now, and you’ve
assimilate and learn a new language and culture, right?’ Because ultimately, they’ve come here to be a success in another country. And I tell them that this class is going to be
but that they’ll learn to have success on a lot of levels, including financial. I like to think I’m giving them the whole package.”