Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship
Salsa dancing. Yoga instructing. And entrepreneurship training and coaching. Those are three of Harveen Chugh’s life passions. And while’s she’s probably fantastic at salsa and yoga, it’s her entrepreneurship research and teaching that got her nominated and selected for this year’s Best 40 under 40 B-school Professors. Chugh has been teaching in entrepreneurship at the Imperial College Business School since 2017 but has been in academia around 2002 when she began work on her Ph.D. in entrepreneurship also from Imperial.
“I’ve worked with Harveen for the past year on a number of modules related to Entrepreneurship and Strategy,” one nomination said. “Harveen is very diligent and always strives for the highest quality of teaching, takes on board students’ and staff feedback and implements the changes as we go along with the modules very smoothly. Harveen is very organized in terms of her ideas and she works with professional staff as collaborators to her modules in terms of delivery and logistics which is much appreciated. Harveen is engaging, motivating and fun to work with. Her positive energy and passion for teaching is visible as soon as you enter the lecture room which is reflected in positive students’ feedback.”
Chugh is currently teaching the MBA Entrepreneurial Journey as part of a core module as well as an entrepreneurship-focused elective for Executive and Weekend MBA programs.
Current Age: 38
At current institution since what year? Since August 2017
Education: PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning, Royal Holloway University of London, awarded distinction (2008-2010); PhD in Entrepreneurship, Imperial College Business School, awarded pass with no corrections (2002-2007); MSc Bioinformatics, Birkbeck University of London, awarded BBSRC scholarship (2001-2002); BSc Biology with Business Studies, Queen Mary University of London, awarded First Class Honours and the Westfield Trust Prize (1998-2001).
List of current MBA courses you currently teach: MBA Entrepreneurial Journey as a core module on the full-time MBA programme and as an elective on the Executive and Weekend MBA programmes.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR:
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I started my first teaching assistant role in 2003. I found it incredibly rewarding to be a key part of the students’ learning experience and to positively nurture and support them on their career journey. I got great feedback on how I presented content, built rapport, and coached students to help them achieve their goals, which gave me the impetus to pursue this as a career.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?
I am leading innovation in pedagogy with a research project on entrepreneurship coaching. This will inform the teaching and coaching practice of entrepreneurship educators globally. It’s currently a work in progress, but I am excited about the potential impact in the field.
If I weren’t a business school professor… I think I would still be engaged in some kind of teaching or academic role, perhaps as a salsa teacher or yoga instructor as these are my other two passions in life!
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?
I think my success comes down to the three things I strive to achieve in my teaching – having a conversational and interactive approach, explaining concepts in a clear and simple way, and always giving time and importance to all the questions that students ask. I think it’s important to welcome their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
One word that describes my first-time teaching: Honoured.
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: A key part of being an educator is being a performer as well. I wish I had taken drama classes more seriously at school!
Professor you most admire and why: Markus Perkmann, who is Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School. He is incredibly knowledgeable, as well as being approachable and a great mentor in our department.
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?
Seeing how they creatively develop their business ideas – often in ways they did not anticipate at the start. It’s especially rewarding when students change their career plans and decide to pursue a start-up after their programme.
What is most challenging?
Dealing with conflicts that arise in group work such as entrepreneurial teams. Individuals are often very passionate about their own ideas!
Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Inquisitive
Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Unprepared
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM:
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy yoga, Cuban salsa, and painting.
How will you spend your summer?
I’m going to Cuba for a holiday and salsa workshops. I’ll then be back to teach the Entrepreneurial Smart Camp Summer School to undergraduates, which is great fun.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: I went to Cyprus recently, where I really enjoyed the beach and I can never get bored of the bars and shopping in New York City.
Favorite book(s): My favourite authors at the moment are Clare Mackintosh and John Grisham who both write a good thriller.
What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?
Friends is my all-time favourite TV show which I’d put down to the quick-witted humour – it always makes me laugh and I often quote it in conversations. I’m also a fan of The Big Bang Theory.
Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: Latin music by artists such as J Balvin or Ozuna. I also like Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé.
THOUGHTS OF REFLECTIONS:
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… a funding pool to invest in our own start-ups so we can further nurture students’ potential.
In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what?
I would love to see more organisations carefully consider the materials they source for their products and increase responsibility for what happens to those products later on in their lifecycle.
Faculty and administrators say:
“I would like to highly recommend Harveen for this award (I am head of the department in which Harveen works). Harveen has made amazing contributions to the school. Working together with me, she has had decisive input into redesigning and upgrading the Entrepreneurial Journey (the MBA entrepreneurial project). She has also done extremely well in attracting a considerable 2-year grant on researching Entrepreneurial Coaching – the output from this grant will enable her to position herself as an innovator and opinion-shaper on the highly topical subject of coaching for entrepreneurial teams. In addition, Harveen has done a fantastic job at organizing the IBPitch, our school’s flagship entrepreneurial competition. Harveen is enthusiastic, organized, pedagogically aware, and always ready to contribute and a great citizen of the school.”
“I’ve worked with Harveen for the past year on number of modules related to Entrepreneurship and Strategy. Harveen is very diligent and always strives for the highest quality of teaching, takes on board students’ and staff feedback and implements the changes as we go along with the modules very smoothly. Harveen is very organised in terms of her ideas and she works with professional staff as collaborators to her modules in terms of delivery and logistics which is much appreciated. Harveen is engaging, motivating and fun to work with. Her positive energy and passion for teaching is visible as soon as you enter the lecture room which is reflected in positive students’ feedback.”
“Harveen teaches on the MBA Entrepreneurial Journey at Imperial College Business School as a Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship. Harveen has done invaluable work in transforming how we teach entrepreneurship to our MBA students, introducing new ways of teaching and inspiring students to fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams. She also provides important pastoral care to students. She is leading innovation in pedagogy at the school and was recently awarded a grant of £95,000 from Imperial’s College London’s Learning and Teaching Strategy Fund to transform our practice of entrepreneurship coaching across the College. This will inform teaching and coaching practice of entrepreneurship educators across the College, at the College Enterprise Lab and also influence accelerators and university coaching practices globally. Harveen was also awarded the Engineers in Business Fellowship grant, which is aimed at empowering engineering students to become industry leaders.”