This fall, David Klooster joins the Houghton College faculty as director of Houghton’s MBA program. Klooster brings over 25 years of experience in finance and commercial lending to the role. As the owner/manager of SBA Professionals, LLC, he has helped small banks around Michigan process and close government-guaranteed loans, and developed new business opportunities for small banks and credit unions. He has also taught finance as an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University since 2018.
Q&A with David Klooster, Houghton’s New MBA Program Director:
Joining Houghton’s MBA Faculty
What drew you to apply for the position?
I was looking for a long-term teaching position in economics and finance, after having worked in the industry for decades. After the Great Recession I felt a definite calling to get into academia and have been working towards that goal since about 2016.
How would you say your 25+ years of experience have prepared you for the work you’ll be doing as the MBA director?
I’m still on the front end of this process, but there definitely are some overlaps from my experience. A large part of my industry experience was working with government processes and short-run projects. This summer’s work on the start-up of the MBA has been marked by various projects in admissions, marketing, HR, and other aspects.
My entrepreneurial spirit has definitely driven me along in this new endeavor, and I’m eager to see it succeed and to become a vital part of Houghton College. In a broader respect, understanding the workings of the business world helps me to create a more realistic, holistic program, but also helps me to communicate that program effectively to our incoming students and faculty.
About Houghton’s MBA Program
Can you describe the scope of your role/responsibilities as MBA program director?
The scope of this position is fairly broad. My main role thus far entails getting the program off the ground and managing it from that point. Suffice it to say, that involves everything from the day-to-day running of the program to the structure and direction over time. I can only accomplish this work with the valuable input and effort of my colleagues. Mostly I’m currently indebted to the preliminary work of Deb Rice, Chair of the Business Department, and Ken Bates, Professor of Business, Emeritus. Without the groundwork they’ve laid over the past few years, none of this would be happening this fall.
What would you say are some advantages that Houghton’s MBA program offers?
The deeper I get into this project, the more I realize that what we’re setting up here is quite unique. With a ‘live’ or synchronous instruction approach, we hope to really differentiate our program from most other online programs. Excellent instructors, along with our on-campus workshop to start off the year, also show the strengths of our approach. These factors not only make us somewhat unique among other Christian colleges’ MBA programs, they also create a better learning environment for our students, which should translate into better educational and professional outcomes.