Cycle 2. Christina Lubinski and Gyula Zilahy

July 1, 2016

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These are the professors that visited us from June 13th until June 24th. Click on each name to view full CVs.

Professor Christina Lubinski

Professor Gyula Zilahy

They gave us some insight about their lives and their opinions on the School of Management and Colombia. Get to know them better through these 10 questions.

1. When and why did you decide to pursue an academic career?

Lubinski: I don’t think I ever really decided to pursue an academic career. It’s just something that happened over time. So, I did my Master’s and then did a little bit of PhD research and then ended up in Graduate School. After the Graduate School Ididn’t quite know what was going to come next and someone offered me a job in Washington D.C. in a research institute and I saw that it would be a great opportunity. Time passed and I ended up in Copenhagen Business School where I teach entrepreneurship now.

Zilahy: It was many many years ago. I was studying in Budapest in a business school, graduated in 1993 and started a PhD right after my graduation from the Master program at that time. That was actually the first PhD program offered in Hungary, we had a different system before the 90s.

2. What are the most satisfying aspects of being a scholar?

Lubinski: I think what is really satisfying is that you work with young people at any point during your career and you get to see people develop into mature and responsible people. That I think is a great aspect. It’s also that you can manage your own time, so you don’t have to be in the office at 8:30 and leave at 5:00 or something like that. That has a lot of advantages because you have ways of structuring private life around your professional life. It has a few disadvantages as well because you always take your work home, in a way you’re never quite free of it either, right? But most of the things I do I really like doing them so I can deal with that.

Zilahy: Teaching, first of all. I enjoyed teaching already in high school. I was teaching other students then and in the university while studying. So that´s what it is first for me: to get to know students and discuss interesting issues. Then, of course, there are a lots of questions in my field, it’s a challenging field and there are a lots of research questions to think about.

3. What other research areas would you like to develop in the future?

Lubinski: I think I’m reaching into more and more entrepreneurship research and the start-up scene. So I’m interested in this kind of technology, innovation-based companies. So that’s one area that I would like to pursue. I also think that there is huge work to be done in sustainability. So that’s another area that I think it´sgoing to almost naturally fall into what I do. I’m a historian by training, so I’m always interested in what can history do in a Business School. And how can we use history to teach business practices, but also what can history bring to research in entrepreneurship studies and strategy. I know that’s an unusual approach in many ways but I think that’s what makes it strong as well, because it opens new doors.

Zilahy: Right now I have this course on sustainability business models and, in fact, this is a new area which needs some more research. Measurement of environmental and social impact is a very interesting question. Also policy makers have no reliable data to make decisions. That’s another issue I’m interested in. And apart from all of this, I’m also doing research at an institute of advanced sciences in Hungary, relating to sustainable cities and crowded cities, actually.

4. Please tell us a special anecdote from your academic life.

Lubinski

Zilahy

5. How does your work contribute to the society as a whole?

Lubinski: I think teaching is one of the biggest contribution you can do to society because you help people develop and see certain problems. Often times my students after the class come and say “but you didn’t give me any answers, what is the solution to this problem?”. It’s like “that’s right, that’s just as in real life, right?” We can discuss it and we can look at it from many different perspectives but those real solutions are going to come from your generation, are going to come from you to decide where you want to go with that. So I think that’s a big contribution to society. We also try in Copenhagen to be in touch with many companies and with newspapers and try to disseminate what we do in the University into society around us. And I think Copenhagen is pretty good at looking at problems as a whole, not just as a business perspective but as business as part of society and what does it mean for the overall big picture and I like that about the Copenhagen Business School in particular.

Zilahy

6. How would you describe your teaching philosophy?

Lubinski: I’m one of this teachers who likes to facilitate more than actually lecture, so a lot of my teaching is very interactive. It’s also because I use a lot of case study method, so that means we talk about a specific company and it’s very much set up for discussion. Sometimes even conflict between different opinions.So, I like that aspect of it, when people can actually engage in this sort of interactions that are very much part of everyday business but also help to understand problems as a whole.

Zilahy: Maybe just one idea is that I would hardly answer any questions in my courses. I would help my students to ask good questions. In this, I think it’s already very important to ask direct questions and to think about business and the responsibility of business in a broader sense. My philosophy would be to at least think about these issues because very often business people think in terms of profits, and that would definitely not help in solving problems.

7. What do you learn the most from the interaction with your students?

Lubinski: They always teach me something new that I hadn’t seen yet. They always tell me about new apps and new software that I haven’t used yet. Then I look it up and I can get inspired by those ideas. Often times, they come to me with new ideas for teaching. Actually today I’m teaching a course on the case Beyoncé, the singer Beyoncé from the United States, as a case of an entrepreneurial opportunity. That was a case that I hadn’t found, but then one of my students came to me and said “why don’t we use that case? One, because it’s fun and second because it’s a female entrepreneur and we don’t do enough female entrepreneurs in the class.” That’s why I have it with me in Colombia today. And then I like the case a lot. It’s a lot of fun to discuss and it has a lot of interesting insights and I’m curious what are the Colombian students going to say tonight.

Zilahy: I learn a lot! Just by coming over here I learnt a lot about Colombia. I have to admit that I had never been to this part of the world. This is my first time in Bogotá, at Los Andes. I had heard a lot of good things about the University, but that was it. In fact, I was quite interested in what would happen in my classes. The examples I learnt about local companies were very interesting. I actually realized that there are many more things happening here than I expected. Take as examples all the social businesses or sustainable businesses. The School helped me to invite companies to my course and we had very good presentations: very passionate and very nice presentations from businesses in the sustainability field. That was really surprising and I learnt a lot from that. But I learn from my students all the time because they bring examples and many of them are already working somewhere, doing an MBA back home, and you always learn something from them.

8. During your visit, what surprised you about Colombia?

Lubinski: From the moment that I set foot in the country everything was so well organized and so well taken care of that it was absolutely the opposite of what I expected because I come from Denmark and I feel like that is already a country that is so organized and so structured in many ways. I was very surprised to come here and have everything taken care of in a perfect way. Every hour of the day was perfectly planned out, that surprised me a lot. I was also surprised a little bit by the beautiful surroundings that you have here. I wasn’t aware of how much mountains there are and how different, different areas in the city. I really like to just take it in with my eyes because it’s beautiful. It’s my first time in Colombia, but I had tried Colombian food before, so it wasn’t a surprise to me, but I was very happy to find it. The food is so excellent; I really enjoy trying the different things here.

Zilahy: Quite everything! Like I said, I had no ideas about Colombia. One thing is the friendliness of people, here in the University or anywhere. I met very open people.That was not surprising, but it was a very positive impression I had. Also, the sheer size of the city is… 9 million people! I didn’t check before I came, that was really impressive. Food is very good! Everybody keeps stating that food is good, but it’s not just polite, it’s really good. The whole infrastructure of the University is very nice, just as this lively city is.

9. After your visit, what do you take from Colombia back home?

Lubinski

Zilahy: My experiences with the course for sure. I did this course before but not in the same format, so I will actually be able to teach this similar course back home in Hungary. It will, of course be in Hungarian, but I can use a lot of examples from here. I hope that I will keep on working with the colleagues of Los Andes for the next couple of years. I had some good relationships before, but I hope to keep on working on some research projects. That’s of course a little bit harder, overarching a couple of continents, but there are some ideas to develop. Also, I would love to come back, although it depends. The summer course will be offered next year if the students enjoyed the course. I had 54 students, so it was popular course. We will see.

10. What would you highlight from your visit to Universidad de Los Andes School of Management?

Lubinski: What a wonderful group of people it is that makes crazy amounts of research, and very innovative research in a very interesting way. But at the same time, I highlight how wonderful people are to be with and talk to, and have discussions with. I really enjoyed the group around here. Everybody who works here does it with heart and enthusiasm that I very much admire. I think it’s a wonderful School and I envy the students that can come here and study these courses.

Zilahy: The interest of the students. When I applied and the course was accepted for the summer program, I asked how many students should I expect and the University didn’t exactly know then. So I was quite impressed by the more than 50 students. I was also impressed by they being really smart and educated. Actually, many of them had an environmental background. The importance of sustainability in this School of Management is remarkable. Many colleagues do research and work in this field, and actually they do a lot of fieldwork with companies, not only theoretical research.

 

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