What did Dr. Ashish Chandra, Professor of Healthcare Administration, College of Business University of Houston – Clear Lakes, US do differently in the Jaipuria classroom?
The fact that Jaipuria Institute of Management has a rich and diverse faculty pool is well known. But the B School doesn’t rest on these pillars of its strength. To ensure that its students get global exposure, the B-school invites reputed International faculty members to deliver classroom sessions for its PGDM students. Recently, Dr. Ashish Chandra, Professor of Healthcare Administration, College of Business University of Houston, Clear Lakes, US delivered sessions on Marketing and OB across its campuses. For many, he is the final word in Healthcare Administration. We spoke to him about his passion for teaching and discovered the classroom strategies that make him a much sought-after faculty, world over.
Finding his calling in the US
A post-grad in Computer Science Applications from Banaras Hindu University, Dr. Chandra went to the US to do his MBA in pursuit of a lucrative career. It was during his stint in the US when he was assigned a teaching assistantship in a classroom that he realized his true passion. The MBA and Ph.D. in Social and Administrative Sciences / Healthcare Administration never looked back. “I didn’t know how much fun I would have teaching and realized that it was just perfect for me. I did some healthcare and marketing research projects for my Ph.D. and developed my niche. I also enjoy being an academic because I love the research aspect of it,” he says.
Developing his passion into his forte
Dr. Chandra has over two decades of university-level teaching experience in the US. He admits that management classrooms have evolved over the years and thus have his teaching strategies as well. He doesn’t believe in putting up PPT slides in the classroom because students can read them on their own. His approach is more discussion-driven. “Classroom discussions get students out of their comfort zone, which needs to happen for their future careers. Secondly, you need to offer them examples that they can relate to, otherwise, they will lose interest. Like at Jaipuria Institute of Management I have given examples in Indian context and that works,” he explains.
Deriving satisfaction from teaching
Worked, it certainly did. Dr. Chandra was a hit with the B School students and he believes that they wished he would come back for future courses was his biggest reward. He recounts his experience where he had to adapt his teaching techniques based on classroom size across campuses, as challenging but satisfying at the same time. “I am someone who believes that our biggest resources are not just faculty members. I value collaboration with students and look for opportunities to work with them on research projects, etc. Learning is a two-way street and there are a lot of gains from collaborative work for students and faculty members alike,” he says wisely.