Business is booming.

Finance means Quest

To honor the beginning of the new academic year, and on the way, to wish good luck to Eritrean students; Eritrea Profile’s Q&A has been hosting scholars. This time we have invited a young and passionate teacher, lecturer and, at only 32, head of the department of banking and finance at the Halhale College of Business and Economics. To his students, he constantly recommend a CNN SHOW … avid fan of Richard Quest, we give you: Henok Nigusse.

  • -Halhale College of Business and Economics

The College of Halhale is about 35km South from Asmara, we offer degree and diploma programs. My department is the department of banking and finance, we work to ensure that, out of that department come out competent students that can work in different financial sectors of the country: banks, ministries, institutions.

  • -Passion for the field of finance

I am enthusiastic! I am really passionate about my department and especially the field because unlike how people commonly think of it; the field of finance is massive and dynamic. In Eritrea, there is a conviction: people think of finance as a job of cashiers. And if I may, I would really want to use this opportunity to declare that the common understanding is wrong. Finance in itself is bigger than that and has infinite scopes and branches in it. Say project appraisal, for example, or financial markets, financial institutions inside institutions, depository and non-depository institutions.

  • -What is that you do exactly?

Hey… I just cannot be specific. In few words, what financiers do is advice on how to raise money and where to invest.

  • -New academic year

Currently we have received students who just completed their freshman year in CASS (College of Arts and Social Sciences in Adi Keih). And those who choose the business area: meaning Finance, Banking, Accounting, Business Management, Economics, or Public Administration.

  • -Things you appreciate most

What I admire the most… I have passion in lecturing; I have passion in transferring my knowledge to others. What I know might not be as big but, I love it when I am transferring what I know, to people who are ready to receive and utilize what I give. That is what I appreciate the most.

Because I do remember, the lectures I attended when I was in college, literally contributed to the way my former college mates and I, am at the moment.

Although as a teacher and a lecturer, I come across a wide range of students, I try to accommodate everyone; weak or not. As you teach you are building human minds by accessing in the students’ brain, and the students, one way or another, they will never forget you. Input sustainability is critical for the students’ satisfactory outcome. So you have to be careful as to what you are feeding the students with by pre-assessing what is expected from them. Do not be selfish but give time to think on how they can accommodate their dreams through studying. At their age, everybody has a dream.

  • -That is a great way to put things, but do you actually think, your colleagues are doing as fine as your statement?

The way I see it, yes, very much so. Trying to make students search for themselves by giving them assignments that will eventually push them into logging in the internet and see how big corporations of the world function, is actually a great technique. Moreover, making them aware of how big the field is and how massively it is influencing every minute and aspect of the world is also another effective method.

We strive to make our students alert at all times; a student should always be under, not distress, but stress. Of course we have shortages, but we’re always pouring our best in class. We want our students to be of lasting impact one day; for themselves, for their families, the community and the country as a whole.

  • -These students that you are talking about, how great are they?

I believe that our students are great. For starters, one needs high marks to get in the school, therefore, our students are of great quality. There are some exceptional that literally grab every word I say, and make my job enjoyable. I still keep in touch with students that graduated and are doing well in ventures of their own.

  • -Universal thumb role

… When I meet my students down town, they tell me about their amazing job in advising businesses while some lead their own business. They contribute in downsizing thumb role, and it makes me happy. Some of them, many of them actually, I know they will have an astonishing future.

It’s old, the rule of doing business randomly, without having any know-hows, without considering pros and cons of certain investments, although it was a good mechanism in the old days but not anymore. If you do not know how to do business, but have the money for it, then you should have people that can advise you and direct you towards success.

  • -So is thumb role good or bad? I am not a business student.

You don’t have to have basic knowledge about it. But thumb role, I believe it’s good. Especially in Eritrea it’s kind of feet for boosting the mechanism for small business.

  • -Department head

When I came back to Eritrea after getting my Master in 2013, I was only 29, which is when I actually became department head. Before that, for many years I did work as a Graduate Assistant.

In any case, young or old, when and if you are to do something you might as well do it passionately because you are going to do it anyways. If you don’t think you’re going to like a profession then don’t even bother starting it. Why play with people’s mind and time? And most importantly your time as well!

Hard work pays off only under one single condition: and that is passion. If you are passionate and devoted, sooner or later, growth and success will inevitably come your way.
Every day I am surprised I am a department head, being in charge of all my students in my department, freshman to senior students, it is a big responsibility and a great challenge that I love.

But what I really need to tell you is that, it is more like of a teamwork: me, my colleagues and the students.

  • -Advice for students

First and foremost, I wish them a fruitful academic year. I truly wish for them to succeed.

And I strongly advice students to make plans; for every profit one expects there is a needed amount of investment and risk. While a student thinks like a student; your status and your job is to be a student. Have a concrete plan and try to implement it, if you are facing problems in implementing your plan, then identify the problems and look for better ways.

Studying is good so it should be befitting, it should also be entertaining. So if students are good in time management then they can exceed in their studies and enjoy time as a young individuls.

Please… avoid procrastination don’t be ‘eleventh-hourists’. Try to study and do things from the get go. Don’t wait for the last minute.

  • -“Dear Future Finance Giants…

“(Laughs) … Dear future finance giants, to all of my students; have integrity in yourself as future economists. Respect the field. Don’t waste your time. No way! THE ARCHENEMY OF BEST IS GOOD. You should never be good enough, hate good, aim and love best, don’t be just good enough, hate good aim for best.

We need you, the country needs you!

  • -Thanks a lot Henok!


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