Meet our professor, Jack Avina

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“Listening and understanding my students, taking the time to be present with them has been awesome”


Where are you from? How long have you been living in Hungary and what brought you here?
I am from Portland, Oregon in the United States but I have been living abroad since 2012. I originally came to Hungary for what I thought would be a temporary period of time for work but I ended up meeting my wife here in Hungary and now we are here in Budapest.

What did you study and what is your special field of teaching? What is the most challenging issue right now in that field?
I received my Bachelors of the Arts from the University of Oregon where I studied Philosophy. I studied Philosophy because I found a field where questions and concerted effort to engage with social and human problems were welcome. I received my Master of Science/ Master of Business Administration from the University of Corvinus Budapest from the faculty of Business where I focused on technology, innovation and I wrote my thesis on digitization's impact on workplace innovation. I am particularly interested in areas of where and how social and human problems can be solved with the application of technology and there in the applied uses of fundamental or foundational technologies. I teach subjects in Data, Management Information Systems, Databases, and Technology. Current challenges in the cross-section of business, technology, and society are wide-ranging and far reaching from whether the death of Moore's Law will dramatically impact the growth and expansion of technology in society, the implications of big data and the mass surveillance of society, the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on society and the workplace, citizen and government concerns related to privacy in the form of regulation GDPR and CCPA, the implications of applied personalization of content delivery and creation in politics, to the coming scale of IoT solutions with 5G and what the world of tomorrow will look like with many more connected devices, how deep fakes and bots challenge concepts of truth and understanding, the growing importance of blockchain technology in far reaching fields from finance, to logistics, to legal systems, and many other issues. Today, now, in particular, we are seeing the importance of technology for keeping economies, governments, and societies running during quarantines. The implications of new technologies are huge and the opportunities for business savvy technologists to create value are massive.

I also would like to ask you about your IBS experiences. How long have you been teaching at IBS?
I started teaching at IBS in January 2020 and I have really enjoyed it here at IBS as students really do come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and have different experiences and priorities for their studies. Leading seminars and working with students is fun because I gain and learn from their perspectives which helps to create an environment for mutually challenging assumptions. This has really given me a different perspective in terms of how it relates to globalization and IT.

What is the most challenging part of teaching at IBS, that is teaching a really multicultural cohort of students? Are you used to it or did you have to face some unexpected challenges?
Technology is important no matter your role or background BUT how it matters and how it will continue to matter in a student's particular country, industry, and field they will work in is really extremely diverse. I really enjoy that diversity and how at IBS we can come together to learn about these different areas and understand different challenges of how technology is changing our lives and how we can adapt to these changes. 

Probably, teaching is not your sole activity. What other professional activities are you doing? In what ways do they help your teaching?
I work as a Product Manager primarily in products related to sales, marketing, and data tool creation and also with data areas- data is crucial today for businesses to make informed decisions and it often provides the backbone of workplace tools. I work with companies both here in Hungary and abroad as both an employee and a consultant. This fits well with teaching subjects in technology as I am regularly using my experience from work in my teaching while engaging students with current tools and trends in the marketplace and their questions keep me questioning and progressing with my own learning. 

How could you sum up your IBS experiences so far?
I usually joke by saying to my students that you can have a career in tech being paid to talk -which I do- but I would modify this by rather saying that actually I have developed a career in tech through listening and understanding. Listening and understanding my students and taking the time to be present with them has been awesome and I really am looking forward to continuing with IBS.

Study BSc in Management at IBS