Escuela Internacional de Verano

Helena González, visiting professor at UASM’s International Summer School, shares her experience

Agosto 4, 2020

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During the International Summer School’s third cycle, from July 6th to 17th, visiting professor Helena González from NEOMA Business School, was among the faculty who participated in the online program.

Helena González answered a few questions about why she decided to participate in UASM’s program for a third time, her work, her research interests and the challenges within a virtual learning environment based on her experience. 

  • What was your main motivation to join this program again?

There are several reasons. First, I enjoy teaching this course. It’s one of my favorite topics to teach. I enjoy teaching to Uniandes students a lot, they are very engaged and show a lot of motivation for the topic, and I like to interact with students who give their best in class.

  • What would you consider as a salient feature of Universidad de los Andes School of Management students?

They seem to be thirsty for learning, which is something especially important for a learning experience, and from a professor’s perspective this is a really good characteristic. They ask questions, they challenge you, they don’t have a problem in asking questions that complement what you are doing in class. Also they seem to value everything you say in class, and that’s different. 

  • What are you currently working on in terms of research?

One of the projects I am working on at the moment is about one particular personality aspect and creativity. This is called the impostor syndrome. It translates in this feeling that people sometimes have that they are not up to the job, despite they evidence the opposite. This could be interpreted as lack of confidence but it’s more than that, and this usually happens to people in high positions. You may be in a job position and you have worked hard to get there but you tend to believe that you are there by chance, so you get to the position but you always fear that at some point people are going to find out that you are really not as good as they thought. The project is about what happens to creativity when you suffer from the impostor syndrome and how organizations can help these people to unleash their creativity.

  • How would you describe your teaching philosophy?

I would say that my teaching philosophy is one that allows students to experience the challenges of managerial work. In class, I limit the time dedicated to lectures and I dedicate most of the time to activities that allow students to experience what it is to face managerial challenges from a personality perspective… So it’s a very experiential process and this is what I try to do in my classes.

  • Tell us about your experience in adapting to a virtual learning environment? What are the major challenges and how have you dealt with them?

  • If you were to teach in this program next year, would you prefer to deliver your course face to face or in the inline format?

This course in particular, I would like to teach it in person. I am Colombian as well so I have one more reason to be in Colombia. I enjoy the interaction with the students and the little discussions that students can have with the professor during breaks, which is almost entirely lost in the online format. So I would like to teach it in person, but if it had to be virtual, I wouldn’t have a problem with that either. 

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