The Holy Cross College business program continues to grow with the addition of William Pratt this academic year. He is a business and money coach at BillPrattCoaching.com, and co-founder of The Money Professors, where he speaks on topics related to personal finance on college campuses across the country. He is the author of multiple books, including “The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money”, and a college textbook “Personal Finance Experience.” He has also been featured on a twice-monthly TV program called “Money Matters.”
“I am coming in as a Teaching Instructor. I will be teaching Economics and Corporate Finance. I am also looking to start a financial wellness initiative on campus and in the community for students and faculty/staff. It will eventually be available for the tri-campus community. It will involve more financial literacy for students, for faculty/staff, and the community, including teachers,” said Pratt, who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Frostburg State University and MBA in finance from Hood College.
“I started my career as an economist. I worked for the Statistics of Income Division of the IRS. I worked there for five years before moving to Citigroup as a Vice President in Risk and Commercial Operations – this happened right as I was completing my MBA. In fact, one of my professors worked for Citigroup and acted as my ‘cover letter’ and handed my resume to the department that was hiring for that position,” noted Pratt. “When I started writing my personal finance books, the first of which was all about credit cards, I felt that there could be a conflict while working for Citigroup at the time. Then the market bubble began to burst around 2008. I decided that was the opportunity for me to go back to the federal government while also giving talks about financial literacy across the country. The books and my professional speaking led to my transition to teaching college courses full-time.”
Teaching career path
“When I was working corporate, I taught an adjunct class because the local college was looking for someone, anyone at that time. So, on a whim, I decided it would be fun. A couple of semesters, and a few more sections later, I realized that teaching was way more fulfilling than my corporate job. Fast-forward a year later, and my wife got a job at ECU and as I was talking to the people in charge of their Financial Wellness Initiative about my personal finance book, they asked if I would like to work with them and teach their expanding Personal Finance class, so I jumped at the chance, and have been teaching college courses in business, economics, and finance ever since,” commented Pratt.
Why Holy Cross College
“My wife’s job brought us to the area. At the time, I had just co-authored a textbook and started doing business coaching and consulting, so the timing worked out well that we could move since most of my business was online, but I still reached out to the local colleges here to teach adjunct. Honestly, Mike Griffin was a big part of why I really liked Holy Cross College – his personality aligns so well with the mission of the College, and he was very welcoming and helped me get in contact with the right people to start teaching adjunct. From there, the more I interacted with the students and observed how much the faculty care about the success of their students, and more than just academic success, plus all the other initiatives on campus, I just knew that Holy Cross College was the right fit for me. The timing, combined with my specific background in economics and corporate finance, worked out perfectly this semester,” said Pratt.
Goals on campus
“In addition to the normal classroom accomplishments of great education, really helping students not just learn to ‘do’ something, but also how to ‘be’ something, I am really looking forward to working with Mike Griffin and some outside partners and funders, to bring financial literacy and education to the forefront. I believe that it is a critical part of student success, and personal success as well. Whether it is about learning to stretch a budget, manage debt, invest for your future, or simply make wise money decisions, people inside and outside the tri-campus community can use some guidance in a field that has been made unnecessarily complicated. My goal is to make it less complicated,” noted Pratt. “My belief is that when people make the right decisions about money, they can build their wealth faster and then use that wealth to improve the lives of those around them. Money is never the goal. It is simply the tool that we can use to serve.”