Cynthia Banks has been teaching entrepreneurship at Leeds School of Business for over three years. In addition to teaching, Cynthia is the Faculty Director for Global Initiatives and runs a consulting business, New World Vistas. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in business and an MS in organizational development from the University of Colorado Denver.
Fresh out of college Cynthia was uninspired by the fresh-grad employment options and went looking for her next adventure. She asked a former marketing professor if she could support an upcoming trip he was leading and she left Colorado to take a group of undergraduate students to Australia.
“I quickly realized the region was perfect for international education programs: countries were english speaking and STEM focused.”
That first trip led Cynthia to found her own company - AustraLearn - just a year later in 1990. Being a young founder she encountered many learning moments, including the importance of solid agreements and soft skills. Without internet she relied on relationships and face-to-face sales to build the company. Ultimately, she and her team kept building partnerships and listening to student experiences to ensure they were delivering quality experiences resulting in her company becoming an industry leader. She now helps Leeds students see the world by spearheading the global initiatives for the college.
Her company eventually sent 30,000 students to 27 countries and offered 150 programs worldwide.
While leading her growing company, Cynthia discovered another passion: supporting women. After she sold her company in 2014, she founded a new venture called The Global Leadership League which focuses on training and development of global leaders And is an active investor with the Rockies Venture Club Women’s Investor Network.
“In leadership and in business, feminine leadership qualities, including being highly communicative, collaborative and empathetic, are essential.”
Inside the classroom
Cynthia has taught both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship courses plus the FGX International experience course at Leeds School of Business. She is always looking for how to best connect with students and provide what they need for a great learning experience. She is continually impressed with our student's ability to be creative in solving problems for their community and the world.
Her goal is to try and give students room to ask for what they need and invest in their curiosity.
Learn more about Cynthia on her faculty profile.