Visiting professor David Derichs: ‘International student body creates a diverse and creative atmosphere in class’

David Derichs, Assistant Professor from Aalto University School of Business, took his BSc at Maastricht School of Business and Economics and MSc at the London School of Economics. He received his PhD in Accounting at Aalto University School of Business. Derichs has seven years of Strategy Consultancy experience at Roland Berger.
Assistant professor David Derichs

What subject do you teach in Mikkeli and when did you come to teach in the BScBA Program for the first time?

My course is Principles of Accounting. Students learn what some people call the language of business: Accounting. I taught my first course at Mikkeli Campus in March 2020.

What makes you want to come back to Mikkeli?

I have always dreamt of experiencing Finnish small town and lake district life. The program in Mikkeli provides an excellent window into Eastern Finland’s beautiful nature and culture.

How are the students at the BScBA Program?

Students in the BScBA Program are highly active and well networked among each other. This provides for interactive teaching and learning experiences – even for a difficult subject like accounting. Compared to the Aalto main campus the student body is very international, creating a diverse and creative atmosphere in class.

In your opinion, what are the strengths of the BScBA Program?

The strong connection and interaction between students is the program’s key strength. Students are better able to support each other and no one is left behind or left out!

Active and well networked students provide for interactive teaching and learning experiences.

David Derichs, Assistant Professor, Aalto University School of Business

What do you think about the 3-week module system?

The three-week module system is a great way to keep engagement with subjects high and increase student graduation. It further allows students to experience faculty from all over the world providing exposure to different teaching cultures and styles.

How are the courses/studies here different from Aalto University main campus?

The courses are quite similar than Aalto BIZ main campus, but the 3-week module structure makes how the learning process is designed very different.

What are your experiences with online teaching and student interactions during the pandemic?

During the pandemic student interaction has been considerably lower and it was very difficult to establish contact with students. At the same time, it allowed students to participate in the learning experience from the safety of the homes (and country of origin), making it possible to continue the degree process.

What have you learned from your visits to Mikkeli?

How to design and lead a learning process, where the teacher – due to time constraints – takes a much more active role than he would otherwise in traditional 6-8 week blocks.

What tips could you give the current and future BScBA students?

Make the most of your time in Mikkeli! Do not only focus on learning – which arguably can be quite intense – but get to know each other and network with other students from different cultures and countries.

Your best/funniest memory/memories from Mikkeli?

The best moments are the close interaction with students and the personal touch this offers to the teaching experience. Students approach you when they are in need for support and later thank you in case they enjoyed the experience.

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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