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Meet your professors: Paul Finlayson

Professor Paul Finlayson

Professor Paul Finlayson faces a steep challenge every time he teaches a new class. Tasked with more than just conveying the concepts and theories of his subject, Prof. Finlayson, who teaches marketing courses in the Business Program at the University of Guelph-Humber, strives to teach his students to be creative.

Assignments in his courses ask that students bring to bear the principles they’ve learned and use them to make marketing plans and creative content. To help them produce their best work, Prof. Finlayson encourages his students to experiment. Then, through a series of feedback sessions, the students narrow in on their final product.

“I’ve always thought the best teaching happens in one-on-one or small group coaching sessions,” he says. “When I get to work with a student and really push them to focus their ideas and solve a problem, that’s true learning.”

Though he’s now been teaching marketing at UofGH for the last four years, Prof. Finlayson wasn’t always sure that business was the path for him. When he was in university, he loved to paint and write in his spare time, so when he finished his Bachelor’s degree, he decided to pursue a Master’s degree in fiction writing. While he eventually decided against writing the great Canadian novel, the creative work he did during his Master’s helped Prof. Finlayson as he moved into a career in business and received his Master’s of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business.

Whether he was working in companies in the banking, high tech, or IT sectors, Prof. Finlayson says that creativity was a constant.

“With creative marketing content, you’re putting a concept to work communicating something to your audience, and I’ve always loved that it’s about getting a message across to someone else,” he says. “That’s something I think about whenever I give a lecture and try to impress on my students when they make a presentation: it’s their job to convince us of something. It’s their job to convince us they have something worth saying; it’s their job to create meaning in an atmosphere of perpetual noise.”


Professor Finlayson holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, and a Masters of Arts in fiction writing from the University of Minnesota.

Along with working in the banking, high tech and IT industries, Prof. Finlayson has taught Business at Keyano College, George Brown College, Algoma University, Yorkville University and Ryerson University.

With a Research Grant from UofGH, Professor Finlayson is developing a business case based on the marketing plan of the company Awake Chocolate.

Areas of Expertise 

Consumer Behaviour
Social Media

Learn more about the University of Guelph-Humber’s Business program.