Onward: An interview with David Frantsvog

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University’s David Frantsvog returns his unique experiences to the classroom.

Frantsvog joined Minot State as an adjunct instructor in the fall of 2015, and his position quickly became full time the following spring. The account and finance professor graduated from Minot State with his undergraduate degree in economics and master’s degree in management. Frantsvog's journey at Minot State University, from student to faculty member, reflects his confidence in the return on investment from his education and illustrates his commitment to investing his knowledge in students.

Minot State’s University Communications met with Frantsvog to learn about his time at Minot State and how he stays involved.

What activities or events have you been involved with at MSU?
DF: One of the events that I am involved with each year at MSU is the Risk Management Association's Credit Analysis Competition. In this competition, students from MSU compete against other regional universities in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba. The students at this event are tasked with taking financial information from a business and making a commercial loan decision based on the loan amount requested in the case. The students have to compile and analyze financial information to make a risk-based credit decision. Students are judged by lending professionals on their written and verbal presentations as well as the overall credit decision. Over the past several years, MSU has performed very well in the competition.

What made you choose Minot State as a student?
DF: There were a few reasons that I chose MSU as a student. When I was first thinking about which university to attend, I had a lot of things to consider. The most important considerations for me were things like degree options, cost, and career opportunities after graduation. Minot State University was a smart choice for me as it met all my personal criteria. 

After high school, I didn't know exactly what degree to choose, so I wanted to have a lot of options available. Minot State University offered several good degree choices that would allow me to take my general education courses first and then choose the best degree to meet my goals. Another important consideration was cost. I have always been focused on getting the best value I can for the money spent. Minot State is well known for providing students with a great education at an affordable cost.  The return on investment at MSU seemed to be good, which really helped with my decision. I also knew that I wanted to pursue a degree that would allow me to enter a business profession after graduation. Minot State University is a highly accredited institution that has a long history of producing highly successful alumni. 

What is a favorite memory from your time at MSU as a student?
DF: I have many great memories from my time as a student at MSU. It's hard to pick just one. If I had to pick one part of the college experience that I liked most, it would be the class lectures. I liked attending lectures from various disciplines throughout the University. I usually walked into class not really knowing what to expect, but I always left class thinking about something that had never entered my mind before class that day. I enjoyed the broad variety of topics discussed, and I really liked how I was able to walk away from each class with at least one new and interesting piece of knowledge. 

Why did you choose your degree?
DF: After attending MSU for a few semesters, I chose to earn my bachelor’s degree in economics. Before making my decision, I really didn't know how to move forward. I knew I wanted to fully understand all degree options, course requirements, and career opportunities before making a final decision. After a lot of research, pursuing an economics degree was the right fit for me. The economics program focused on many important topics like gross domestic product, labor economics, price theory, fiscal and monetary policy, and the history of economic thought. Many of my classmates didn't really care about economics and found it quite challenging. I always thought we discussed interesting topics and found it to be an extremely useful degree. 

You have a very diverse work history, having worked in banking, health care, and the oil and gas industry. What made you want to teach? Why at Minot State? 
DF: I would have to say that the biggest contributing factor toward my decision to teach at MSU was my brother, Dean (Frantsvog ’97). Dean had worked at Minot State University for several years, and he always spoke very highly of his job and how much he loved teaching. When he described his experiences in higher education, I began to seriously consider teaching as a career. His guidance and mentorship were instrumental in my decision to teach in higher education. 

Making the choice of where to teach was easy. Being a former student of Minot State University at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I know how great the institution really is. Having my degrees from MSU has benefited my life in so many ways and I wanted to help others achieve their goals as well. I love to see people succeed, and teaching at MSU allows me the opportunity to help people in a small but meaningful way. At MSU, I can structure my classes to best impact the student experience. My past work history has given me a unique background that helps me to present information in an easy-to-understand and relevant way. I rely heavily on my professional work history to better present textbook materials in a manner that is useful today and well into the future.

What do you do to help the College of Business Looyenga Leadership Institute?
DF: For the past several years, I have had the privilege of working with many students who are participating in the Looyenga Leadership Program. My role in the program is to advise students on their chosen projects. The primary focus of the program is to develop a student's individual and group leadership abilities. Students work to build their leadership abilities by participating in a group project that benefits both university students and community members. Some of the leadership projects that I advised in the program were a winter clothing drive for less fortunate students in the Minot area, an advertising promotion to educate students on how to save money while attending university, a collection drive for monetary and food donations for the MSU food pantry, and a marketing campaign that distributed information helping to increase student awareness of mental health resources at MSU. I really like participating in the leadership program as it benefits our students and the local community. 

Do you have a favorite memory so far from teaching?
DF: I enjoy my time in the classroom with students. Watching them develop their individual knowledge base and personal abilities is awesome. I have had an opportunity to instruct students in many of my classes from their first year all the way through graduation. I love seeing students harness their skills and achieve their individual goals. Earning a college degree is not easy, and I always like watching students see their hard work pay off. I believe that graduating from college is a pivotal moment in a person's life.  I like helping them achieve their academic goals as it will have such an important impact on their future success.

What advice would you give students choosing a degree in accounting and finance?
DF: The first thing that I would tell a prospective student is there is immense value in pursuing either degree. Money is everywhere. When people have a better understanding of accounting and financial principles, they are well-equipped to make better financial decisions in both their business and personal lives. Both degrees are challenging, but the endeavor is worthwhile. 

What do you like to do outside of work: family, hobbies, or other areas of interest?
DF: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have been married to my wife, Shanda, for over 15 years. We have four children and one grandchild. We also have four dogs, so our house stays busy. To me, family is the most important part of my life. As a group, we try to stay active and be outside as much as possible, especially during the summer months. We like to go to the lake, and traveling is always fun. We enjoy attending a variety of school events, such as concerts, plays, and sporting activities. I enjoy hobbies like carpentry, tinkering with cars, small engines, and electronics. Fixing things is one of my favorite things to do. I also like to waste a perfectly good evening with a big bag of peanut M&Ms and a few good movies. 

What else are we missing when telling your story? 
DF: Life is full of many wonderful experiences; seize the opportunity, as many only come once in a lifetime. Dream big, work hard, and don't stop until you get there. Have fun, stay humble, and share encouraging words often.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 06/06/24   

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