Meet your lecturers: Oliver Olson


Wondering who your lecturers are going to be? What their teaching style is? How you can apply what you learned in your job? This and much more will be addressed in an upcoming series of blogs in which your lecturers will introduce themselves. 

Let me introduce myself…
My name is Oliver Olson and I am Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy. In the MSM full-time MBA programme you will follow my course in Marketing in the Global Context and Global Corporate Strategy. In addition, I teach Marketing Management and Strategic Planning in the MSM Master in Management programme. You will also meet me in the Digital Marketing course, part of the MSM Expertise Track The Digital Economy.  

Next to my teaching responsibilities I am also the ACBSP Director of Operations for Europe, Middle East and West Asia and the Executive Director of ATHEA. Before becoming a lecturer, I was active in banking in the USA for 12 years, 18 years in academic management and 10 years in consulting. I come from the USA but lived in Sweden, Germany, Romania, Hungary and now in the Netherlands for almost 25 years.

Lecturing found me…
I entered academia in my late 30’s as an administrator after having a career in banking.  In 2013 I was invited by MSM to teach a Strategy course at MSM’s partner in Peru.  I dicscovered that I enjoyed lecturing and the students seemed happy with my approach and content.  I love being with the students and helping them grasp new knowledge.

What students can expect during my course
My courses are a mix of lecture, case/group work, guest lecturers, real world consulting projects and simulations. The MSM format is based on full day lectures. The worst thing that I could do as a lecturer is to bore the students. I make every effort to keep every minute of my course interesting and relevant.

About my teaching style
Some people use the term ‘edutainment’ as an insult or criticism.  My style is not about teaching every small detail and element of a topic… that is why there is a textbook. Instead, I want students to understand the big picture, then support the big picture with a few theoretical tools backed by examples. 

There MUST be an element of entertainment when educating to help the students to be engaged and retain the key concepts.

Another important element of my teaching style is to make each class personal and honest.  At the end of a course, the students know about my family, my career, my personal likes and dislikes and, in some cases, what makes me laugh, cry, and scream!

A first insight into my classes
1. Students should be prepared and on time for class… but they will only do that if there is a reason.  So I am a bit famous for my ‘Minute Papers’ at the beginning of class.
2. I always have group work… but the students never have to take group work home.  I want students to learn marketing / strategy… not how to deal with classmates complex schedule out of class.  Group work takes place in class and is completed each day before the students leave.
3. I try to find real business cases and guest speakers to bring to class.

The main take-away for the students
The key to good management/leadership is a solid understanding of the fundamentals of business… which do not change much over time.  The elements that change, can be found as needed. If the big picture is well understood, the next step is to analyse each individual situation according to that understanding and then apply.  Repeat.

Your job is to show up to class prepared and ontime.  My job is to make it worth your effort.

Fun fact
I first visited Europe as a member of the musical/educational group Up With People ( when I was 20 years old.  I was performing as a singer for a year while traveling with an international group of 170 other student performers.  My year ended with a performance at De Efteling where I danced with Princess Margriet, a member of the Dutch Royal House.

Would you also like to join the Master in Mangement or the Full-time MBA?
Click here for more information about the Master in Management.

Click here for more information about the Full-time MBA.

On the programme page, you will find all the details about the curriculum, the available scholarships and the admission requirements. You can also chat with current students and alumni and get first-hand insights in how they have experienced the programme. The next intake of both programmes starts in September 2024.

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