Wittenborg’s Anesca Smith speaks to new lecturer Alexander Bauer

Wittenborg’s Anesca Smith speaks to new lecturer Alexander He has quit his job as a very successful sales and marketing manager traveling the world and now Alexander Bauer, who has a PhD degree in International Business Management, has brought his expertise to Wittenborg University as one of the latest additions to its teaching staff. Here he talks about the rewards of teaching and his love for sailing and the theatre.

Welcome to Wittenborg Alexander. Where are you from?

I am originally German, but been living for the past eight years in Vienna, Austria, where I was working as a sales and marketing manager.

What will you be teaching?

Marketing and Strategy modules for the undergraduate classes and for the Master degree students Management Strategy in a Global Business Environment.

What is the key to being a good sales person?

The stereotype of sales people is that they like to talk and talk and talk. My experience is that you really have to listen to the people you are trying to sell to.

What made you decide to go into academia?

I had a very demanding job in sales and managing, requiring a lot of travel and for more than a decade it was really great seeing different countries.  After some time I decided I wanted to do something new. I thought it would be nice to pass on the knowledge I have gained and I always enjoyed training youngsters and new sales staff in a company environment.

Why did you choose Holland?

Coincidence. A few years ago I met Maggie (Feng, Wittenborg director), we stayed in contact and at the beginning of the year I quit my job. For the first few months I went sailing. In May I was in Amsterdam and came in to see Maggie and Peter (Birdsall, Wittenborg director) and we agreed I would come in September to start teaching.  We will see how it goes from there.

What was it like quitting your job? Weren’t you anxious?

It took me a year to reach the decision! You feel what you are doing is not the right thing for you anymore, but still it’s difficult to let go. Most of my colleagues have become friends. It’s like a sticky old relationship - leaving the comfort zone was the hardest part.

Looking back, are you happy with your decision?

I am very happy about it. Teaching is great. It’s much more rewarding than just going out and being a sales manager. Of course, you earn great money but mostly you sell for your company. Here, with the students, you feel like you’re doing something that makes much more sense because you pass on knowledge.

You started with your PhD in 2007?

Yes, a friend and I decided to do it together, alongside our job. He didn’t finish his and it took me until 2011 – two days before Christmas I finished my defense. It was on innovative and intercultural marketing tools from the business ethics perspective.

What sort of undergraduate student were you?

As a student I liked parties and I didn’t go to classes scheduled before 10am – in Germany you don’t have to be there just to pass your exam - but I always enjoyed going to the smaller classes. Marketing and sales were very interesting to me. At Wittenborg it is much better to be in class because they are small. You have the chance to really speak to the teacher and have a discussion. At the really big universities, or even the medium ones, if you sit in a class of 100 students or more you don’t see the teacher and he doesn’t see you. You have limited time to interact.

How would you describe your first month at Wittenborg? What was the best thing about it and what could be improved?

The best thing is that everyone welcomed me with open arms from Day One. From the staff to the students. Sometimes when you start at a new company you start with a negative – you have to prove yourself to them first.

Like going to prison?

Haha. Yes, like you’re the new one in prison. Here you start with a positive. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful. I learned so many new things and met so many interesting people.

What could be improved?

When you start new there’s a lot of information and thick guides – and they’re very helpful of course – but it could be overwhelming in the beginning. It would be nice that have just a little bit more guidance on how to use everything. 

What do you do in your free time besides sailing?

Sailing, scuba diving and rock-climbing. I am also part of a small theatre group in Vienna. We have been playing together for the past 6 years and almost every year manage to have something on stage.

Why do you like acting? What do you get from it?

It’s a fun group – very diverse characters. Once you get a role you reflect on that, you start thinking how to play and develop it. You come out from your own perspective and play someone completely different.  It also helps in the business world when you have to negotiate with someone and you learn to put yourself in their shoes.

WUP 17/10/2014

WUP 17/10/2014  -Wittenborg’s Anesca Smith speaks to new lecturer Alexander Bauer - He has quit his job as a very successful sales and marketing manager traveling the world and now Alexander Bauer, who has a PhD degree in International Business Management, has brought his expertise to Wittenborg University as one of the latest additions to its teaching staff. Here he talks about the rewards of teaching and his love for sailing and the theatre.

Welcome to Wittenborg Alexander. Where are you from?

I am originally German, but been living for the past eight years in Vienna, Austria, where I was working as a sales and marketing manager.

What will you be teaching?

Marketing and Strategy modules for the undergraduate classes and for the Master degree students Management Strategy in a Global Business Environment.

What is the key to being a good sales person?

The stereotype of sales people is that they like to talk and talk and talk. My experience is that you really have to listen to the people you are trying to sell to.

What made you decide to go into academia?

I had a very demanding job in sales and managing, requiring a lot of travel and for more than a decade it was really great seeing different countries.  After some time I decided I wanted to do something new. I thought it would be nice to pass on the knowledge I have gained and I always enjoyed training youngsters and new sales staff in a company environment.

Why did you choose Holland?

Coincidence. A few years ago I met Maggie (Feng, Wittenborg director), we stayed in contact and at the beginning of the year I quit my job. For the first few months I went sailing. In May I was in Amsterdam and came in to see Maggie and Peter (Birdsall, Wittenborg director) and we agreed I would come in September to start teaching.  We will see how it goes from there.

What was it like quitting your job? Weren’t you anxious?

It took me a year to reach the decision! You feel what you are doing is not the right thing for you anymore, but still it’s difficult to let go. Most of my colleagues have become friends. It’s like a sticky old relationship - leaving the comfort zone was the hardest part.

Looking back, are you happy with your decision?

I am very happy about it. Teaching is great. It’s much more rewarding than just going out and being a sales manager. Of course, you earn great money but mostly you sell for your company. Here, with the students, you feel like you’re doing something that makes much more sense because you pass on knowledge.

You started with your PhD in 2007?

Yes, a friend and I decided to do it together, alongside our job. He didn’t finish his and it took me until 2011 – two days before Christmas I finished my defense. It was on innovative and intercultural marketing tools from the business ethics perspective.

What sort of undergraduate student were you?

As a student I liked parties and I didn’t go to classes scheduled before 10am – in Germany you don’t have to be there just to pass your exam - but I always enjoyed going to the smaller classes. Marketing and sales were very interesting to me. At Wittenborg it is much better to be in class because they are small. You have the chance to really speak to the teacher and have a discussion. At the really big universities, or even the medium ones, if you sit in a class of 100 students or more you don’t see the teacher and he doesn’t see you. You have limited time to interact.

How would you describe your first month at Wittenborg? What was the best thing about it and what could be improved?

The best thing is that everyone welcomed me with open arms from Day One. From the staff to the students. Sometimes when you start at a new company you start with a negative – you have to prove yourself to them first.

Like going to prison?

Haha. Yes, like you’re the new one in prison. Here you start with a positive. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful. I learned so many new things and met so many interesting people.

What could be improved?

When you start new there’s a lot of information and thick guides – and they’re very helpful of course – but it could be overwhelming in the beginning. It would be nice that have just a little bit more guidance on how to use everything. 

What do you do in your free time besides sailing?

Sailing, scuba diving and rock-climbing. I am also part of a small theatre group in Vienna. We have been playing together for the past 6 years and almost every year manage to have something on stage.

Why do you like acting? What do you get from it?

It’s a fun group – very diverse characters. Once you get a role you reflect on that, you start thinking how to play and develop it. You come out from your own perspective and play someone completely different.  It also helps in the business world when you have to negotiate with someone and you learn to put yourself in their shoes.

WUP 17/10/2014

©Wittenborg University Press

Interview by Anesca Smith

 

 

Related Content