1. How did you end up teaching at EBS?
After the Estonian Restoration of Independence, I quit being a physics teacher and grasped onto every possible training or workshop that some friendly capitalist countries had to offer for free. I was studying the analysis of business plans at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development alongside with today’s bankers when I saw an advertisement of EBS [it was called Eesti Kõrgem Kommertskool back then] in a newspaper. My instant reaction was “Wow! That’s exactly what I need” So I came here to study for my master’s degree. Because I had had quite a lot of experience with business plans then I was asked by Madis Habakuk to teach this to other students in 1994, although I was still a student myself. It was only 2000 when I finally started working here full-time, but then I was the Manager of Entrepreneurship Centre. Today I’m a Senior Lecturer at EBS.
2. Tell us something about yourself that the students may not know?
I don’t know if something like this even exists. I guess, they know that I was a hardcore punker in my youth, that I listen to Metal and that I’m a vegetarian.
3. What’s your greatest dream?
Actually, I dream of becoming so wealthy by some miracle that I could build a paradise for abandoned animals, onto the field that’s near my home.
4. If you could drop all your responsibilities, including your job, what would you do right away?
Because I most likely won’t get to create the paradise for abandoned animals, then I’d like to develop some awesome games that would turn the players into better people. Mostly, to become more tolerant. These games should teach how to respect life in all of its variations.
5. What have been the greatest life lessons that you’ve come across by doing this job?
I get these lessons constantly by guiding Student Companies, there are a lot of them. But one great lesson I have learned is that when a student gives me some negative feedback, then I’ll frown a bit, but all in all I’ll upgrade the course keeping these comments in mind. Studying isn’t meant to drive students so mad that they’ll end up wanting to send some (anonymous) bad comments to the lecturer. I’m convinced that studying should be fun. If it’s not fun, then I still have a lot to learn.
6. If some students would like to try out your area of expertise – from where would you suggest starting out?
My area is business consulting. It is a big responsibility and that’s why I suggest starting out learning from (or next to) someone who has a lot of experience and know-how in this area. Situations that need consulting vary a lot and there’s really no textbook solutions to learn, usually.
7. How would you describe yourself as a person and as a lecturer?
It’s a great question. I think that I’m demanding but friendly. One student said recently that I’m also helpful. But the deadlines are set in stone and I don’t accept begging for a better grade. I don’t tolerate cheating at all.
8. Are there any funny stories from your classes?
There’s a lot, because I try to keep my students cheerful and free and you can always find at least one funny person in most of the groups. I don’t really want to highlight any so let’s just leave those jokes between me and them.
Tranlator: Marlen Kuusk
Editor: Tea Teesalu