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Visiting professor Dale Fodness: “BScBA Program gives students an excellent overview of the business environment in whole”

Dale Fodness, a professor from the University of Dallas has been teaching at the Mikkeli Campus now for 29 years. He has a Ph.D. in Marketing and has taught in Mikkeli marketing, digital marketing strategies, hospitality marketing, research methods, critical thinking and has been a thesis advisor for several years. In recent years, he has also worked as a strategy consultant in the private sector.
Professor Dale Fodness, Ph.D., University of Dallas
Professor Dale Fodness

When did you come to Mikkeli for the first time?

“I first came to Mikkeli to teach at the start of the Helsinki School of Economics BBA program that grew into today’s Aalto University BScBA program. I’ve been returning to Mikkeli every year since sometimes multiple times a year. A rough estimate is that I’ve lived in Finland (Mikkeli) for over 3 years, 3 weeks at a time.”

What has changed in the BScBA Program during your time here?

“Many administrative / programmatic changes have taken place as the program has evolved along with business and technology globally. What hasn’t changed is the close-knit, personable nature of the Mikkeli experience”

How is the teaching experience here different from your home university?

“At my home university I primarily teach graduate students in our master’s programs. These students often have significant work experience and it is sometimes a challenge to get them to think about seeing or doing things differently from the way they have in the past. I find that the students in Mikkeli are both more open-minded in terms of alternative approaches and benefit from a significantly richer appreciation for history.”

In your opinion, what are the strengths of the BScBA Program and its 3-week module system?

“At first, I admit that I was skeptical that a quality course could be taught in a 3-week time period. I quickly learned that both I and the students benefitted from the immersive, engaging nature of an intensive course that met for several hours a day every day. I think that the basic structure of the BScBA program gives students an excellent overview of not only the big picture of business, but the relationships, pattens and trends in the business environment.”

The program gives students an excellent overview of the relationships, patterns and trends in the business environment.

Professor Dale Fodness, Ph.D., University of Dallas

What would you say about the BScBA students and what tips could you give them?

“It is a privilege to teach bright, motivated students. I find that the Mikkeli students excel in critical thinking and always challenge me to go beneath the surface on whatever topic I teach”. To the current students: “Appreciate and make the most of the opportunity you have in Mikkeli. It will end up being one of the most important things that occurs in your life.”

What’s your funniest memory from Mikkeli?

“The first year I taught in Mikkeli, the students decided to come to my apartment and prepare a meal. I asked what I could bring and – being unfamiliar with food names and grocery stores – I brought some sort of dog food. “

Professor Dale Fodness, Ph.D., University of Dallas

Mikkeli is my sanity check. It has been a part of my life for so many years, I can’t imagine what it would be like not to come back.

Professor Dale Fodness, Ph.D., University of Dallas

What have you learned from your visits to Mikkeli?

“I’ve learned to appreciate serendipity (happy accidents). My first visit to Mikkeli was a mistake. I thought I had been asked to come to Helsinki (I didn’t even know Mikkeli existed) and teach a case-based MBA class. So that is what I prepared for and those are the materials I brought with me. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Finland and learned that not only would I need to take a train north, but that I would be teaching undergrad students with limited business knowledge / experience who had never had a marketing or a case-based course before. And it went great! I enjoyed and learned from that experience and I believe it taught me to trust in my ability to work things out in uncertain, ambiguous situations. That has definitely helped make me a better teacher and consultant.”

Finally, why should someone apply for the BScBA Program?

To develop the skills and network necessary to be successful both professionally and personally.

Bachelor's Program in International Business, Aalto University

International Business, Bachelor (BScBA, Mikkeli) and Master of Science (Otaniemi) in Economics and Business Administration

The Bachelor’s Programme in International Business provides students with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge to build, develop and lead companies on a global scale. A bachelor’s degree in business with an international focus opens up a wide variety of career opportunities across all industries and continents.

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