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The Shareholder Online The alumni magazine of Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business

Jensen: Harbert’s ‘Mountain Dew Professor’

Marlin Jensen

Marlin Jensen likes Mountain Dew. Really. In this third-floor office in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business you will find a Mountain Dew Christmas tree and wreath, an assortment of nostalgic Mountain Dew bottles, a Mountain Dew refrigerator, and a plethora other Mountain Dew Dew-dads.
“My wife only lets me drink one per day,” said Jensen, an Associate Professor in Finance, who has been at Auburn since 1988. “The only problem is … it’s a 2-liter.”
Jensen took the time to answer a few questions, giving co-workers, students and alumni a better chance to know him.

The Shareholder Online: How many years have you done this?
Jensen: Really, all my life. I’m old enough where my parents used to watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights and that was the treat – we would drink those little 10 oz. bottles.

Jensen has two cardboard cutout Mountain Dew bottles, a Mountain Dew refrigerator and a collection of Dew hats.

Jensen has two cardboard cutout Mountain Dew bottles, a Mountain Dew refrigerator and a collection of Dew hats.

The Shareholder Online: Why Mountain Dew and not Coke or Pepsi?
Jensen: Growing up in North Dakota, my mother bought Mountain Dew so it kind of stuck. The little town that I was in when I was in high school, Edgeley, the guy that delivered Mountain Dew, he said that we were the No. 1 town in the state for drinking Mountain Dew, per capita. I always wondered why and I’d like to think it was because I lived there.

The Shareholder Online: What inspired you to decorate your office in a Mountain Dew flavor?
Jensen: The students kinds of relate to it in a way. I hear a lot of them say that want to take finance from the Mountain Dew professor. They don’t know who I am. They know I drink Mountain Dew.

The Shareholder Online: What was life like growing up in Edgeley, N.D.?
Jensen: I grew up on a farm. In terms of getting up early and getting your work done, that is one of the things that my parents really instilled in me. If you’ve got stuff to do, you’ve got to get up in the morning and do it.

The Shareholder Online: What influenced you into becoming a finance professor?
Jensen: When I got out of the University of Minnesota (where he received an MBA) I got a job that went away with the home loan bank board. I lost my job and had just gotten married (Amy) and so I was searching for something to do. This guy from Morehead State University called me and asked me if I wanted to teach finance and I said yes.

Need a mug? Jensen has a few large ones in his office.

Need a mug? Jensen has a few large ones in his office.

The Shareholder Online: What makes Harbert College finance graduates stand out in the professional world?
Jensen: The one thing that really helps our finance students is the accounting that we make them take. In a lot of the finance programs you don’t have to have that. As you look at the people who come to look at our graduates, one of the things they like about them is they have a better understanding of accounting. That helps them stand out from some of the other programs.

The Shareholder Online: If you could vacation anywhere, cost-free, where would it be?
Jensen: I enjoy going back to North Dakota. I’m not sure I’d enjoy the winter as much anymore.

The Shareholder Online: Who has influenced you more than anyone?
Jensen: My parents the most. Career-wise, there was a guy at the University of Minnesota by the name of Bruce Resnick that was always encouraging. He’s the one that convinced me that I could do anything.

The Shareholder Online: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or not, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Jensen: Back to the 12 disciples, I’d like to talk to the one they call Doubting Thomas. After seeing what he saw during his time why were there the doubts? I’m looking at my own life. Sometimes I have some doubts, but your faith takes over then. You have to live by faith.

The Shareholder Online: What is your proudest achievement at Auburn?
Jensen: Even though I probably complained all 24 years I was the Financial Management Association Adviser, I enjoyed working with the students and trying to help them open up their career opportunities. The one thing I really did see in FMA was that so many students were closed-minded in terms of what they were going to do. Some of the different speakers that we had come to FMA, I forced them (students) to go by one of the classes that I taught, and it really opened up … looking at other things that they never thought that they would be interested in. They never thought that they would want anything to do with accounting, but so many of the jobs have the accounting term in the title, yet what they are really doing is finance. They get closed off in terms of it’s got accounting in their name and it’s really a finance job.

The Shareholder Online: Why should finance students get involved in the Finance Club at Harbert College?
Jensen: In any of the clubs, it’s to set themselves apart from the students that are not part of these types of associations. It gives them a broader base of networking that will eventually help them in terms of getting a job that they are interested in.

The Shareholder Online: What did you want to be growing up?
Jensen: A farmer. I farmed for a couple of years but I lost money.

Jensen said he now drinks only one Diet Mountain Dew per day. One 2-liter, that is.

Jensen said he now drinks only one Diet Mountain Dew per day. One 2-liter, that is.

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Joe McAdory

Joe McAdory is Communications Editor at The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Prior to his appointment at Auburn University in January of 2013, McAdory was Editorial Page Editor (2004 to 2013) and Sports Editor (1999-2003) at the Opelika-Auburn News. He has been recognized by the Alabama Press Association and Alabama Associated Press for his sports columns, news columns, investigative reporting and news features. He is a 1992 graduate of Auburn University.
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