The bond between a teacher and a student is akin to the relationship between a potter and his product. A teacher plays a crucial role in molding a student's career as he is a figure that has major influence in the student’s initial years. Teachers have the ability to make learning more enjoyable for students. This is a great influence that teachers can have on children. The more interest that children have in education, the more they will be willing to learn. "It is very important for teachers to be able to connect with their students and understand their specific needs. The need is even greater when it is an application based course like management," says Dr. U. Devi Prasad, M.B.A., Ph. D., Associate Professor – Marketing, Hyderabad Business School.
Delving into a Dynamic Model of Teaching
Even before he began his career, Dr. Prasad was engaged in an academic pursuit with his thesis on "Marketing of Fish – A Case Study of Fish Farmers in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh". Aside from theoretical expertise, it is also quite important for a teacher to have relevant experience in the field that he/she teaches in. In this regard Dr. Prasad has organized seminars and workshops at the national level and presented papers in National and International seminars and conferences. Currently, he is engaged with the subjects of Customer Relationship Management, Consumer Behavior, Global Marketing and Services Marketing. He has also published numerous papers and case studies in various domains.
Great teaching has less to do with knowledge and skill than with attitude of teachers toward students, subject, and work. In today’s rapidly evolving world, it is extremely important for teachers to employ newer pedagogies to engage students with the concepts in the program. Dr. Prasad’s students enjoy the benefit of having industry professionals give lectures in the campus on various trends and market shifts taking place in the ecosystem. This is a key aspect of learning that is very essential for students to become work ready professionals. These industry insights allow students to get a glimpse of what their profession is going to be like. It also enables them to get a clearer picture of the career path that they will embark on.
"We always engage students in active classroom discussions, we encourage students to talk, and we continuously motivate them to connect theoretical inputs with practical aspects," says Dr. Prasad. Any professional in the industry, no matter how experienced would agree with the statement that, experimentation and tentative learning ends with formal education. The market today requires individuals who are ready to actively apply all the concepts they have learnt in their school and collegiate levels. This transition for a student is not a simple one, as there is an abrupt shift in roles. To aid this process, teachers are employing more techniques like the ones Dr. Prasad has mentioned. These techniques prepare students for public speaking, team work and ability to delve into the corporate seamlessly. "The class is a heterogeneous mix," says Dr Prasad. "Fast learners should be given tough tasks and students who are below average need to be facilitated with personal teaching and personal counseling."
He partakes in every activity with his students and is actively involved in their learning process. With this he ensures that no student is left unattended or in a state of doubt. Marketing being his forte; he ensures that his students are fully equipped to handle all possible contingencies by exposing them to various case studies, sending them to retail stores and markets to do research, and by allowing them to work on various projects on numerous modes of marketing. The panorama of activities that he makes his students conduct allows them to have a very application oriented learning process.
What makes him tick?
With an MBA and Phd from Andhra University Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Devi Prasad has over 20 years of teaching and research experience to impart knowledge from. He has held various positions like coordinator of MBA and head of department. Though his varied experience in various roles he has understood what students need in order to become knowledgeable professionals.
He believes that MBA needs more practice; it requires more interaction than theoretical based learning in order for the students to be more in tune with the field of operation.