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August 14, 2018

A young professor who’s different in teaching

Media Release

1) Tell me a little bit about yourself

Professionally, known as Dr.Prof.Priyanka. P V, an ambitious and passionate academician,  an author, a professor and an active researcher in the broad area of management. Under the area of management, marketing is my field of expertise and the area in which I have specialized throughout my career and education as well. 

It takes a lot of challenges to understand your uniqueness as an individual. I have faced a lot of challenges in my life and I choose to face them and come out victorious.  I had decided that whichever profession comes to me, I want to be different and unique in my profession. 

There is always a ‘behind the scene’ story for every successful individual. Success is never easy. There is no short cut to reach to your destination and one needs to climb the stairs one by one with lot of hard work, determination, courage and enthusiasm without loosing the fire inside you to achieve your goal.
 
 It is said that when an opportunity knocks at your door, harness and utilize the chance to show your skill and expertise. Many opportunities came my way at a very early stage of my life and I utilized them all to the fullest. 
 
The opportunity of research and teaching came to me when I was very young. 

Research came to me when I was pursuing my MBA. At that time, I had no guidance from anyone to understand what was right or wrong. The only guide  I had was myself and I learnt from every mistake I made while learning research.. Learning is a continuous process and I totally enjoy the process of learning and love to make others enjoy it too. I started research in a very small way.  An opportunity for a small national conference conducted by RVIM came to me when I was in my first year of MBA came my way. I took part in that conference and presented my research paper on leadership.  There was no looking back from there on. I was looking for more opportunities to enhance and learn the skill of research. The journey from RVIM, Bangalore to Harvard University, USA has been a wonderful learning experience. 

After doing in a lot in research, I wanted to formalize my experience I had in the field of research and formalized the same by  finishing my doctorate in the field of Management.  I learnt to frame research papers for journals and also learnt the technique to get them accepted in the journals as well.
 
Today, I am authoring books for leading publishers like Pearson Publications and Business Expert Press to name a few.

At the same time when I took the decision to formalize my experience in research to a PhD, I got an opportunity given to me by my teacher to give a lecture to 100 students in a college in Bangalore. I never knew I had the ability to teach still I gave that one lecture.  This opportunity made me realize that teaching is my profession.  I am born to be a professor and teach millions of students. 

Teaching is said to known as a very noble profession.  It is giving knowledge to the student community.  The challenge in the field of teaching comes in dealing with those who have more than a decade of experience and they come with a mindset of being in their comfort zone. For me, as a youngster in the field of teaching, I wanted to contribute and do something different, give something new to the field of teaching and innovate in terms of teaching pedagogy.  

Teaching came to me when I was very young. I was in my early 20s when teaching came to me as a profession. My rich experience lies in teaching MBA students.  Due to my experiences in life and all the challenges I had seen when I was very young, I found myself counselling students on life.  

As teaching came to me as a profession, I set out with a mission to break perceptions that existed in the field of teaching at the higher education level. I wanted to show that a teacher is defined by what they deliver and the uniqueness they bring in class than their appearance. Whether as an individual, you have a small or big in personality does not matter but what you deliver in class matters. The innovative element that a professor brings into the class is what is essential to be considered by institutions. The development of students is not about only ensuring that students get good  marks but it is about the overall development of their personality. Marks is only one component but not everything in life.  At the end of the day, the most successful students are not those in marks but how intelligently and smartly they apply theory to practice, how creative they can be in their job role and how they adopt to the changing needs of the market. 

Being unique and different was not challenging and I did not have to put any effort to be creative and different in the teaching field. Innovativeness, being unique and different in the way I teach came to me naturally.  Innovating in the field of teaching is something I love to do and I made use of technological gadgets which is the mobile phone and laptop to innovate in teaching pedagogy.

Technology is developing at a fast pace and I used it as a tool to engage students. I used technology a way beyond just power point presentations. I wanted to go a little beyond the course structure specified and went to using addictive games like Candy Crush and Temple Run to teach subjects like Strategic Management and International Business.  I had created numerous role plays, brain games in the area of marketing and management, simulation games, cross words, YouTube activities to name a few that used to kindle the creative aspect of the student community. I used songs to teach the concept of Globalization and live projects to teach cross culture. I went on to experimenting social media as a teaching pedagogical tool. 

The 3  “I”s became my mantra. The 3 Is stand for “Innovate, Inspire, Indulge”. In the present generation teaching is not about just studying the course but a way beyond the course. Students need to be given the platform to innovate, be creative, have certain values like kindness and compassion and last but not the least achieve and become something great in their career. 

The innovation in teaching pedagogy which I created, gave me recognition from my students who enjoyed the process of experiencing novelty in the subject, and innovation made me get 9 awards for my outstanding contribution in the field of education, teaching and research. 

It is said that hard work always pays and when you work hard, results will come to you. 

On a personal side, I am known as Priyu for many of my family members,  teachers, friends and well wishers. We are a small cute family of 4 of us which comprises of my parents (Venkat P and Sashi Venkat) , myself and my grandmother (S.N.Rajyam). All the four of us are strong headed mentally, physically and emotionally to face life together.  Life for us has always been a combination of ups and downs.  All the four of us are highly optimistic and we enjoy the roller coaster of life together.  

I would like to extend my gratitude to a few wonderful people who have guided me through the subjects that I have taught, been with me, and helped me to face all the challenges I went through in India.  Whenever I needed them, they have always been there for me. They are : Dr.Dinesh Nilkant, Principal, Jain University, CMS, Prof.Sunitha. B.K HOD – Academics, CMS, Jain University,  Prof.Anila Bajpai- Program Manager- CMS, Jain University, Dr. Jayanthi Ramodorai, - Associate Professor, Acharya B-School and Ranjini M L who works in the admin department of Jain University- CMS. The subject foundation what I give my students is all what I have learnt from my learned teachers at Jain University-CMS, Bangalore.  I owe it to them. These amazing people gave me a lot of encouragement, support, guidance and love always. 
 
I have many of my teachers in Indian School Muscat who see me as their own and I would like to thank them all for all their love and affection. I indeed feel blessed to get their love in my life.
 
I would also like thank all my best friends and well-wishers across the globe who have always been there for me thru the ups and downs of my life.

My hobbies include reading books, doing social service, singing and listening to music. Social service is something I have been doing since my 3rd standard in Indian School Muscat. I used to volunteer regularly at the Center for Special Education (CSE) regularly. That continued in India as well where I used to do fund raising for an orphanage for special kids called as Gerisim Integrated Home and School for the Handicapped. Also, I am sponsoring two girl children for education at World Vision India. I am also into teaching specially challenged kids whenever I get the opportunity to do so.
 
Singing and listening to music is something I love to do since my childhood. I love Bhajans and Carnatic Classical music. I love Dr.Kuldeep M Pai’s  music videos which is classical bhajans sung by little kids. He is an Indian musician, composer, Carnatic music vocalist, and music producer from Chennai who develops small kids and gives them and their talent the visibility using YouTube. Talented little singers like Soorya Gayathri and Rahul Vellal are mesmerizing millions across India and the world with their beautiful voices.

I am a very spiritual person as well. I am a God fearing person and believe in the Supreme Power because of who’s grace I have been able to do so much and I will still do a lot more in life. I am a staunch Shirdi Sai Baba devotee since a very young age. It is because of His grace, I have been able to do so much in my life.
Leaders like Robin Sharma, Gaur Gopal Das, Sadhguru have been my all time favorites and I use their sayings on life to educate students.

Teaching is my passion and developing students is my strength. I know the technique of moulding students to face the competition that exists in the market, inspire them to achieve and reach great heights.

2.)  Which school did you go to, when did you graduate?

I have been in Oman from 1993-2000.  I have been there for 8 years and they were my most memorable years of my life.  I did my schooling in Indian School Muscat (ISM), which is one of the largest schools in the world. I owe whatever I am today to Indian School Muscat as the teachers there laid the foundation for me. All my best friends who have been with me till date are all from Indian School Muscat.  I studied in Indian School Muscat from 2nd Std to 8th Std. 

Post 2000, I came back to Bangalore, India to pursue my education from there onwards till my PhD where I did my BBM at Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College- Center for Management Studies, affiliated to Bangalore University then, now known as Jain University- Center for Management Studies, MBA from Alliance Business Academy, affiliated to Bangalore University then, now known as Alliance University and my PhD from Jain University, Bangalore.

My education has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs but still enjoyed the ride because I had wonderful people around me who encouraged me to excel and achieve.

3.) What lessons did life teach you?

Lessons that the wonderful place of Oman taught me are

1. Challenges are part of your journey. Face it boldly
2. People who understand you will always be there for you no matter what.
3. To be focused on your goal and work hard for it
4. True meaning of relationships like friendship, a teacher student relationship was what I learnt in Oman which helped me to carry on life.
5. Understanding emotions 
6. Reading books is essential 

4.) Tell us a little bit about your academic qualifications. What inspired you to do a PhD? What is it on and why did you choose this topic?

I did my Bachelors in Business Management at Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College- Center for Management Studies, Bangalore, India, graduated in 2008 and then Masters in Business Administration from Alliance Business Academy, Bangalore, India in 2011. Both were affiliated to Bangalore University then.  Today, both these institutions are independent universities known as Jain University and Alliance University.  I pursued my PhD in Management from Jain University Bangalore (2012-2016).

After my MBA, I did a Post Graduate Certificate in Advertising and Public Relations from Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad and while pursuing my PhD, I did an Executive Program for Young Leaders from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta 
PhD became  my dream after I finished my MBA. I started the tedious process of filling application forms and approaching universities as I did not want a gap in my education. I had a dream of becoming a doctor so I fulfilled that dream by finishing my PhD and being a young student from Jain University to finish my PhD in the area of Management.

5.) What inspired me to do PhD? What is it on and why I choose this topic?

Since I read a lot, I had seen the term called “social media” on the cover page of a magazine that was lying on the table of our class room during my MBA days. It caught my attention and I went to the library to read more on social media. I went deep into the subject, and read so much so that I had developed a research proposal titled “Inter Dependence of Social Media and Branding”. When I visited Harvard University, I even purchased books on Social media. That title during my PhD changed to “The Applicability of  Social Networking  on the Marketing Strategy  in Select Retail Units”. The main objective was to link social media to the subject I was passionate about which is Marketing. After 5 years of study, the word social media is linked to concepts like marketing strategy, retailing, return on investment and personnel in my thesis.

The reason I chose the topic of social media is because it was relatively new in the year 2012. I had forecasted its growth in 10 years time but one element to this day still needs to be harnessed and utilized to the fullest which is the factor of “Return on Investment”. This area still is tapped but not used fully by organizations.  In developing countries, to this day the power of social media is not harnessed fully in comparison to developed countries. 

6) How many research papers have you published so far?

Research started for me as a hobby. I enjoy the process of research. I have presented and  published over 30 research papers so far in the area of Management. The process of developing research papers has been immense learning for me. I will continue to learn and further enhance my skill of developing research papers in the field of Management.
 
7.) What is it that fuels you to continuously add to and pursue your education and teaching journey?

I loved education from my early school days. Teaching, research and imparting education is my profession and passion. Therefore, in order to teach and educate the student community, it is essential to educate myself first, equip myself with all the necessary skills and qualifications and then move to teaching students innovatively. Knowledge gaining is one part but sharing knowledge gives a lot of satisfaction and joy to me. I get highly fueled and energized when I am in class teaching various subjects of Marketing and Management to MBA students and it gives me even more enthusiasm to innovate, give something new to the students and see them achieve in their career. 

Teaching is my passion. As long as I am surrounded with students, helping them achieve their dreams, it gives me a lot of happiness.

8) Tell us about your Toastmaster journey?

Toastmasters came to me during my BBM in the year 2005. After that, I gave a gap of almost a decade and then got back to it again after I came to Dubai. I started my journey with Greens Dubai Toastmasters Club.
 
Later, I moved on to be a member of Burj Toastmaster Club and Dubai Advanced Toastmaster Club. Toastmasters for me is a place where I have fun. It gives me a platform to learn from others and also gave me best friends and wonderful moments to cherish for a life time.  I have finished my Advanced Communicator-Bronze till now and a triple crown winner as well. I am also a Pathways guide. Pathways is the program introduced by Toastmasters International. 

9.) What were some of the challenges you faced during your education? How did you rise above them, what did you learn from them and what advice would you give to other people based on what you have learned?

I have faced many challenges on the road to being who I am today. One can rise above them only by being self motivated and by telling yourself “This too shall pass”. Clouds can never be dark always. After every dark cloud comes a ray of light. 

I have a very strong family support which comprises of my parents and my grandmother who have been a big support for me always and they are my strength to face any problem that comes my way. I have faced multiple challenges till my PhD. Challenges were always a part of me but it is because of my parents and their support that I was able to face every hurdle that came my way. Specially my mother has been with me always being a rock solid support for me to face every difficulty that came my way to achieve excellence in my profession which is teaching.

The advice I would give is:
1. Face challenges boldly.
2. Never give up
3. Family is your strength 
4. Dream big and achieve your goals in life
5. Show excellence in your craft
6. Embrace change, act accordingly. 
7. Be Passionate 
8. Ignore the noise, focus on your goal
9. Make continuous learning your mantra
10. Friends are precious

As Walt Disney says “ It is always fun to do the impossible”

10.) You have given talks at TEDxRITDubai and presented a research paper at Harvard University, USA. What were they about and what were these experiences like for you?

TEDx has always been my dream because it a platform given to inspire millions of people. Being in the field of teaching and education, I wanted to inspire many to achieve young, go beyond their comfort zones and reach great heights. 

TEDx RIT Dubai had conducted a TEDx event on February 3rd, 2018. It was wonderful experience to give a talk on “The ECG Formula”. I linked ECG medically known as electrocardiography to education which is my passion. I coined a different meaning of ECG where E- Encourage, C-Creativity and G stands for Growth. I also touched upon certain perceptions and stereotypes in the field of education and the necessity to break them to improve the quality of education. 

Harvard University, USA is known to be one of the premier and best universities in the world. I feel fortunate to have got the opportunity to present my research paper and one of the very few students from Asia at a student level to present a research paper on “Information Visualization for the physically challenged” . I got this opportunity during my MBA and it was a platform which made me get confidence in research and pursue my passion further and formalize it into a PhD.

11.) You have received several awards throughout your career. How many are there and could you list them for me?

It is said that when you work hard, be passionate in your craft, excellence is the key and success coupled with recognition comes to you. I have received 9 awards for my outstanding contribution to the field of education, teaching and research. Awards as listed below are:

1. 2017  -Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievements from Jain University
2. 2016  - AIMS International Outstanding Young Woman Management Teacher Award 
3. 2016  -  Outstanding Contribution Education Excellence in Karnataka, Prime Time Media 
4. 2015  - Outstanding Academic Scholar, Alliance University Alumni Association 
5. 2014  - Indian Achievers Award in the field of Education and Research 
6. 2014  - Global Achievers Awards for Excellence in Education, Dubai 
7. 2014  - Pride of India Award In Education 
8. 2014  -Received MTC Global Award of Excellence in Innovative Teaching Pedagogy
9. 2014  - Received Young Educator and Researcher Award

Receiving an award is always a very thrilling experience. But giving awards as a teacher to my students gives joy. I had the privilege and honor to give an award to my student Mohammed Suhaib. He received “Value Vision”, an award that was given to him in Dubai at a conference held at Curtin University, Dubai.

12.) What's next for you, and what's been your career progression so far?

The work I have done to date is just a beginning. I still have a lot more to do. I want to educate millions of students at the higher education level. Also, I want to be instrumental to revolutionize the higher education industry in Dubai. I want to innovate more, teach more, experiment more, research more and author more books and be an inspiration to millions of students.
  
My aim is to mold millions of students to achieve their dreams. And I want to make learning a mix of fun and at the same time the student community should understand and remember the subjects that I teach.

I want to contribute so much to the field of education that I want to leave a legacy and a footprint that will be remembered for many many years.

A young professor who’s different in teaching

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