One of the most important drivers when I decided to move from industry to academia was that I could be able to teach; I really like teaching. However, I realized that teaching in a business school has its own challenges, for example, emphasizing more the “business” than the “school.” I am conscious that while theory is important, the goal of students in business schools is the business application. Now, the question is how to contextualize business theories in such a way that the managerial implications can be grasped easily?
My learning is that rather than presenting myself as an expert who simply delivers information to students, I advocate students learning by doing. There are torrents of new fads and theories in business, and business students need to learn “how to learn by themselves” without falling into the fads. I found that one important tool is to encourage business students to play an active role in determining what and how they need to solve business problems.
I am fortunate to teach qualitative courses where interpretative skills are crucial. These courses can be quite abstract but I found that they can be enhanced by relying on guided discussions. I understand that for many students talking in public is challenging and I learned from my experience in industry that communicating complex ideas to top management is tricky. Presentations to C-level officers require creativity, credibility, confidence and above all brevity. I try to help my students through presentations and workshops the importance of being concise, confident and clear.