Escuela Internacional de Verano

MEET THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL VISITING PROFESSORS

Julio 6, 2017

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These are the professors that accompanied us from June 20 until July 1.

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

    Marcel Zeelenberg:

    I first studied Health Science for one year, but I totally disliked it. My brother was studying psychology at the time, so I moved to psychology as well. One year and a half later, I realized that I was very intrigued by studying human behavior, then I pursued a PhD and got into the academia.

    Ariel Casarín:

    I think it was very long time ago: Actually, I did my PhD because I initially thought of working in consultancy. Once I finished it, I got an offer from a Business School and then I decided "why not?". From the beginning I liked it very much. I think that I really found my motivation and what I really enjoy doing for a living. I really like my profession.

    Benoit Heilbrunn:

    When I was a student I was interested in many things. That's why I studied many things: Philosophy, Semiotics and Marketing. I wanted to teach Philosophy but I decided not to do it, because I wanted to have an impact in the society. That's why I decided to teach Marketing, because I think it can really change the people's life for the better.

    I was not very interested in working in a normal company and been a manager. I was very much attracted to theories and concepts, so that's why I decided to teach, because that gives me time to read and to write, and for me those are very important activities.

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

    Zeelenberg:

    What I like best is that I create my own work so I can study whatever I think is relevant or interesting or needs to be studied. There is nobody there to tell me what to do. The pure academic freedom of doing research is the best benefit of the work. Another benefit is that you get to meet and work with people all over the world and you get to travel and make friends from all over the world.

    Casarín:

    I like my job because I have the time to study and to read. I like reading and studying a lot, that is my vocation. But there is another side of it that I enjoy a lot, which is interacting with students. We interact with students of different ages, from different backgrounds, different places, nationalities, etc. I like it a lot because this is another chance and an opportunity for learning.

    Heilbrunn:

    There are many aspects that I like very much of being a scholar. The first one is to transmit knowledge to the students, knowledge that some other professors transmitted me when I was a student. So I got the feeling to give back what I was given. It's very important for the society.

    And teaching marketing means being very curious about the evolution of society and it's very important, it pushes us forwards. You cannot repeat twice the same course in Marketing. It's not like teaching Corporate Finance or Accounting. You have to take into account the evolution of society.

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

    Zeelenberg:

    I'm an economic psychologist and I study how people make decisions. I think I'll continue doing that also in the future. But in the last two years I've been more interested in Financial Behavior. What can we do to understand and maybe help people to save more for their retirement and make wiser decisions?

    Casarín:

    I teach Non Market Strategy with a very strong focus on Business Economics. But I'm thinking that this will lead me to some other fields: probably corporate governance and decision-making. So I think I'm going to transit in the near future into this new areas.

    Heilbrunn:

    There are two things that I would like to work on. The first one is to investigate the relation between Marketing and poverty: how can Marketing be used to decrease or eradicate poverty. This is something very important for me. And the social utility of brands. I would like to work and research about how brands had been useful for citizens and for society.

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

    Zeelenberg:

    Something that I really valued was when I was a PhD student and I started to work with a woman in England, named Jane Beattie. She was a big inspiration for me. I was actually ready to move to England to work with her but then she got really ill. She developed cancer and she died a year after. About 15 or 20 years later, the European Association for Decision-Making found an award named after her (Jane Beattie Award) and I was the first winner of that award. That was something that I'm very proud of.

    Casarín:

    I like to see students that I had 6-7 years ago. When I meet them, they remember what we discussed in class very clearly. This is very nice to remember. And also when you are discussing a case and you have people that have been a protagonist of the case. That has happened to me unexpectedly several times. And I like it a lot.

    Heilbrunn:

    I was in a class. I was explaining the students that brands are not selling products and commodities, they are selling experiences. I was a little bit anxious about telling my students my ideas about the links between the brands and religion. But I was very surprised because at the break, one of the students came and showed me a video that demonstrated exactly what I was saying: a company selling a product and the things that you would leave to your kids and grandkids, and so on. I was very pleasantly surprised by the reaction of the students.

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

    Zeelenberg:

    I think that our work in the psychology of decision-making benefits the society indirectly by generating knowledge and educating people. But directly, we do a quite number of studies in Retirement Planning and Decision-Making by poor people and helping young people save money. There is a lot of areas in financial behavior that we have been studying and developing in the last years and some of the outcomes are now accepted in the Financial World in the Netherlands. There we have a clear impact on society.

    Casarín:

    I think it does because in my academic field (Non-Market Strategy) we learn how to interact. Individuals and businessmen learn how to interact with politicians and people from the legal and social environments. When we address those issues we are basically learning how to do things better and contribute to the common good.

    Heilbrunn:

    I think there are two ways to answer this question: first we have to know that nowadays the people have a lack of attention. They spend their time on social media and sending mails. That means that we have to find more interactive way to teach. However, even if you can't measure it, you can always help encourage your students by helping them to think by themselves and giving them some autonomy. The role of the professors is to give people the capacity of thinking by themselves.

  1. How would you describe your teaching philosophy?

    Zeelenberg:

    I think my Philosophy would be that as a teacher you can help the students to improve themselves. It's not so much what you tell them but it's by how you structure the course for them, how you structure the reading for them and how you help them to develop themselves as scholars.

    Casarín:

    I like the interaction in class, I like participation in class and I encourage students to be as participative as they can. Because this is a chance, not only for learning concepts or theories, but also to develop skills and train several things that are useful in their professional life. I'm really deeply dedicated into the teaching case method, which is a method known as the participant’s center learning method.

    Heilbrunn:

    My teaching philosophy tries to combine very philosophical and intellectual aspects so I try to base my classes with the knowledge of some philosophers, anthropologist and sociologist authors. They let us think about the reality of the society. I also take some other elements from real examples and from my professional experiences.

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

    Zeelenberg:

    I think my Philosophy would be that as a teacher you can help the students to improve themselves. It's not so much what you tell them but it's by how you structure the course for them, how you structure the reading for them and how you help them to develop themselves as scholars.

    Casarín:

    I like the interaction in class, I like participation in class and I encourage students to be as participative as they can. Because this is a chance, not only for learning concepts or theories, but also to develop skills and train several things that are useful in their professional life. I'm really deeply dedicated into the teaching case method, which is a method known as the participant’s center learning method.

    Heilbrunn:

    My teaching philosophy tries to combine very philosophical and intellectual aspects so I try to base my classes with the knowledge of some philosophers, anthropologist and sociologist authors. They let us think about the reality of the society. I also take some other elements from real examples and from my professional experiences.

    Zeelenberg:

    What I really like about working with students it's that they ask me questions that I forget to ask myself. So I tell them about the study I read or the study I conducted myself, or an article that I read, trying to communicate the message to them. But very often they come with really sharp questions in which they link things they learn in other courses and that really helps me to think more broadly about my own research.

    Casarín:

    I learn a lot, because when you open up a discussion with people from different backgrounds, different experiences, and different parts of the world, you get to learn a lot. In every class people think that I’m teaching, but on the other hand I know that I'm learning a lot out of them. So this is a mutual beneficial process.

    Heilbrunn:

    It is that the students apparently don't listen to what you said when you teach. But in fact, I know they listen and they always push you forward by questioning what you think is obvious. I learn a lot from my students, especially when they make me see things differently, so I'm always learning something when I'm in a classroom.

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

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

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

    Zeelenberg:

    My host, Catalina Estrada, she is a former PhD student of mine. She got a PhD in Tilburg under my supervision and we still work in a number of research projects. But it is so much fun to see her here in the UniAndes School of Management. The School is very into consumer behavior researching from a psychological point of view so that opens us towards other disciplines.

    Casarín:

    I knew the School actually the first time I came to Colombia. It was because I had a conference here in the university, so it was the first time that I got to know the School of Management and the University. It was when the Santo Domingo was just opened and now, few years later, I stay longer and find an excellent University, with an excellent staff of academics and full of students. This is really one of the top universities in Latin America and you should keep an eye on this.

    Heilbrunn:

    What has surprised me from the University is the diversity of the people here in Uniandes. I think is very interesting because I think that there are a lot of ideas to develop on how to integrate the poor people into the system instead of rejecting them. I think that the University gave them a lot of opportunities by giving the work or chances of setting up their own businesses. This for me is very interesting and important, and I would like to try to develop it in France.

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