Site Manager PT External Manufacturing
Biologics – Europe, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Faculty of Management Sciences
Department of Marketing & Logistics
Namibia University of Science and Technology
March 23 – April 08, 2017
In April 2017, I got the incredible opportunity to travel to Windhoek, Namibia, and share my skills and knowledge with students in the Marketing & Logistics department at Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Having never taught in a formal environment before, I knew this experience was going to challenge and develop me, and I wanted to ensure I provided the most valuable experience to the students. I never could have predicted, however, just how much I learned from the students and from my time in Namibia.
I was tasked with teaching 4 different classes in the Marketing and Logistics Department. One Undergraduate class and three Masters Classes, focusing on Supply Chain, Logistics and Operations. I wanted to share my knowledge not only on topics specific to the Pharmaceutical industry, but also on general principles which would broaden the students’ knowledge and depth of understanding around these subjects, and translate usefully to their careers post-graduation.
I recently finished my MBA, and decided to utilize some of my favorite case studies in my teaching, highlighting interesting principles. I loved these case studies, had studied them in depth with my MBA class, and looked forward to sharing them with the students at NUST. What I wasn’t expecting was the new perspectives, interesting ideas and fresh direction that the NUST students brought to these case studies. The discussions we had were fresh and exciting and opened my mind to new ways of looking at problems and situations – I definitely learned as much, if not more, than the students from our sessions.
I also wanted to utilize a lot of practical sessions with the students. Learning (and teaching) is a lot more fun and informative when there the students can experience the concepts, rather than having me lecture alone. I kicked off my sessions with all the classes with the Marshmallow Challenge. This was a great way to break the ice, have some fun, and get the class interacting with each other and me (as well as sharing some key concepts)! I also utilised the Airplane Factory simulation to demonstrate Lean Production principles, and the Beer Game to simulate Supply Chain collaboration. These interactive sessions were fun, promoted open discussion, and brought a lot of energy into the classroom. The feedback after these sessions was great!
I went to Namibia to share my knowledge and experiences, but in return the students and academic staff shared so much in return. I was given new perspectives, great ideas and renewed energy. It was truly a great example of the power of diversity of thinking.
My time at NUST was truly an experience I will never forget. The students carved themselves a place in my heart forever. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and would recommend this experience wholeheartedly.