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Otago’s reputation a draw for visiting Professor

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Will Geoghegan image
Professor Will Geoghegan.

A guest lecturer from Indiana University’s world-renowned Kelley School of Business has started the academic year for the Master of Entrepreneurship programme.

Professor Will Geoghegan spent four days in the Master of Entrepreneurship (MEntr) classroom teaching the Introduction to Entrepreneurship, focussing on ideation, new venture strategy innovation and pitching.

Having done his own PHD at Galway University with the programme’s Director, Dr Conor O’Kane, and knowing the programme’s reputation, Professor Geoghegan made sure he found time in his schedule for Otago.

“The quality of the University of Otago and the pioneering work that Conor is engaged in to continue to add value to [the programme] was for sure one of the major reasons why I came.

“Obviously some of the top quality researchers and teachers that are in Otago was a major draw too and some of the things that I could learn from these guys was prominent in why I came.

“Flying for 30 hours there and 30 hours back from 5 or 6 days on ground wasn’t ideal so the draw of what is a top quality university with a quality Masters programme was huge,” he says.

He was impressed with the quality of the students.

“The students were engaged and really wanted to learn and develop. Many of the students in the class have viable ideas to start their own business or have started their own firms, so it was great to see such entrepreneurial activity outside of the US.”

MEntr Programme Director Conor O’Kane says he is confident Professor Geoghegan added value for the students.

“I wanted to initiate more international connections in the programme. I have watched with interest as Will has carved out a very successful career in teaching. In the schools he has taught at in the US, he teaches in a hugely demanding environment and excels in it.

“Kelley school of Business is very highly ranked internationally and it is particularly highly ranked in entrepreneurship. Many of the leading international scholars we cite in our strategy and entrepreneurship research are down the corridor from and teach alongside Will. It was great exposure and a welcome challenge for the students.”

Discussions with Professor Geoghegan during the week had made it clear Otago’s students are the equal of their international peers, Dr O’Kane says.

“The students and the MEntr programme should take great confidence from that.”

The week was not just an opportunity for the students to learn.

“I thought his experience could not only add value for the students in the programme through his teaching, but as Director I also wanted to learn about ways we could develop and grow our programme,” Doctor O’Kane says.

There are plans for more visiting lecturers for the programme.

“Some of Will’s colleagues and my own colleagues internationally have already expressed an interest in contributing in a similar way.

“We have excellent teachers within the University and in the local region already so it is all about finding that balance between utilising the value that we have but also not forgetting to open the programme up to different perspectives and approaches on such a globally relevant topic.”

Will Geoghegan teaching in the classroom image
Professor Will Geoghegan, of Indiana University, during his week with Master of Entrepreneurship students.

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