Andrew Boysen

Making an impact

board-2167844b_wharton_blue_70transp.png
 

Teaching philosophy

My identity as a teacher is inextricably linked to my scholarship, grounded in my experience as a manager. In my nine years of corporate experience the value of my prior business education was reinforced repeatedly. At the same time, I quickly learned that reliance on a fixed body of knowledge was insufficient for my advancing and evolving career. This drive for knowledge led to my discovery that Oracle subscribed to a database of academic research articles, and that this research was invaluable for quickly understanding and addressing the challenges in my work. This growing interest in research drove my decision to pursue a PhD. My desire as a teacher goes beyond sharing toolbox of managerial frameworks. I hope to build an understanding of the research behind these frameworks, the limitations of that research and, most importantly, how unexpected challenges in the future can be approached with a scientific mindset to continue learning on the job. I do this, in part, by connecting the course material and related research to my own experiences as a manager.

Interests and experience

I am interested in teaching at any level, from undergraduate and MBA to executive and doctoral courses, in the areas of strategy and entrepreneurship. Given my research interests and work experience, and my desire to connect course material back to research and my own experience in the technology industry, I would be most interested in teaching courses related to technology strategy, core (competitive) strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and management of technology and innovation. I am also prepared to teach a broader range of introductory or core courses across the areas of strategy, entrepreneurship, and management, as needed. I welcome the opportunity to develop a course of my own, but to hit the ground running I would expect to initially draw heavily on the role models and syllabi I've had prior exposure to.

My classroom experience comes primarily from leading two recitation sections of Management 101, covering a broad range of managerial topics, from micro to macro. The majority of this experience involved leading case discussions to deepen students’ understanding of the course material, with some additional lecturing and class discussion. I also served as the head TA for this course, working with Martine Haas, and managing 15 sections. This experience involved some development of course materials, including exams, though the content was extant. This experience also involved managing TAs, providing materials for all recitations, and occasionally teaching larger sections (for reviews or combined sections based on TA availability).

I have also led discussions in doctoral seminars, which Lori Rosenkopf incorporates as an element of learning for her doctoral courses on organization theory and social networks. From 2014 to 2017 I worked closely with Lori Rosenkopf to develop two courses (initially denoted with course numbers ending with x, to denote experimental) for the undergraduate level. The first, Culture and Institutions of the Tech Sector: Bridging Research and Practice, required students to read and react to original research, and then incorporated discussion with entrepreneurs and executives from across the ecosystem (venture finance, senior management, human resources, etc.), who were also assigned the same readings, to connect that research to practice. This course culminated in original research projects, deepening the students' understanding of a particular area of research from the course through additional academic reading, and interviews with alumni. The sibling to this course, titled Wharton Industry Exploration Program - The San Francisco Bay Area Tech Sector, incorporated responses to assigned books and documentaries, visits to many bay-area companies, and research projects (often continuing research from the prior course, though it was not required to take both, and some took the courses in the reverse order). Development of this course involved the selection of readings, writing prompts for students to respond to, defining the nature of the major assignments, and refining all of these over the years, as we learned what was working, and what could be improved.

In addition to the courses above, I have worked with a number of Wharton faculty as a TA for their courses. This consists not only of grading tests, problem sets, essays, and group projects and presentations, but taking an active role in working with students individually and in small groups to guide research, reinforce learning, and provide feedback on assignments and exams. I have always made it a point to provide thorough feedback to ensure learning through assignments, in addition to evaluation. I particularly enjoyed working with students on individual and group research projects, where I was also able to point students to additional research that they might find interesting, given their expressed interests. These experiences cover the following courses: Managing the Enterprise (Nicolaj Siggelkow, Executive MBA), Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management (Xu Henry Han, undergraduate and MBA), Strategy and Competitive Advantage (Sonia Marciano, Executive MBA), and Technology Strategy (Rahul Kapoor, MBA and Executive MBA).

I have also received a certificate in college and university teaching through the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Teaching and Learning. This requires taking seminars on teaching across a range of topics (the most memorable being "teaching outside your area of expertise"), being supervised in front of a classroom and receiving feedback, and developing a teaching philosophy. Despite these experiences, I know my journey to becoming the teacher I aspire to be has just begun.

Testimonials

  • Andrew was a great TA! He always sent us really helpful emails clarifying questions from recitation and was also available over email. His recitations were also really dynamic and engaging. He knew a lot about management, and always connected his experiences to the material. I absorbed the information well from the recitation because Andrew led a great discussion during recitation.
  • Boysen was overall a good TA given how horrible the course was. He asked thought provoking questions and clearly understood the material.
  • He also gave incredibly thorough feedback for all assignments and presentations which was greatly appreciated.
  • Andrew was very smart and understood the course material extremely well. He was able to communicate them while he facilitated class discussion. His comments are always very insightful both in class discussions and through assignment feedbacks.