We sat down with the Professor of Practice Michael Wildenauer, and asked him what he enjoys most about teaching, what kind of professional experience he has, and how he likes to relax.
My current role in the La Trobe Business School is Professor of Practice in the Management and Marketing Department. I teach into masters level courses (MMgmt and MBA) in corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, professional ethics in ICT, and corporate governance, which is a pretty mixed bag really!
After I finished my MBA, I started doctoral studies in business which is when I started to become interested teaching at tertiary level. I did some sessional teaching online and face to face for a couple of universities in areas where I had many years of professional experience before I started at La Trobe. My MBA studies and doctoral research moved me away from ICT towards the dark side (Management Theory and Behavioural Corporate Governance) somewhat.
What subject matter do you most enjoy teaching?
I really enjoy teaching professional ethics in ICT course, which includes lots of content about the societal and legal, as well as ethical, impact of technology in both professional and everyday life. Teaching innovation by getting the class to design thinking activities is also great fun, and its fulfilling to see students come up with interesting ideas to solve tricky problems.
What do you value most about La Trobe University?
I think that access for underserved communities from a very wide range of backgrounds in Melbourne’s north and especially in regional Victoria is really valuable.
Outside of the University, what is your professional experience?
I have had 30+ years of professional experience before coming to teach at La Trobe. I started out in technology roles (first as a programmer, then as a Unix systems administrator and database admin), then moved to supervisory and then management roles in ICT. I was lucky enough to work for some really interesting organizations, especially during my seven years working in Silicon Valley, but also in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands. During this time I also had some stints consulting and then as a senior executive level manager. Immediately prior to LBS, I was a consultant working for myself, which continues today. I am also a non-executive director of a small rural health service in Central Victoria.
What’s one piece of advice you can share for students to get the most out of their uni experience?
Take advantage of all of everything offered! There is guidance on how to write assignments, how to reference etc. etc. Use it. The Library offers a lot. Get involved with things that interest you – students groups and activities, the Big Idea competition, that sort of thing. If you finish university and have only gone to classes and nothing else, you’ve let some great opportunities go by…
How do you like to relax?
Relax? What’s that? I do like to spend time at a local café where I live in the Macedon Ranges, working or (more often) chatting with the regulars which seem to include quite a few authors among their number, which makes for interesting conversations. OK, actually mostly complaining about the weather and tourists…