Faculty Focus: Konstantin Mekhonoshin

Faculty Member Konstantin Mekhonoshin Applies the Business of Dance to UMUC

By Amanda Agatstein |   October 2010

Konstantin Mekhonoshin , Faculty

Business and Management
School of Undergraduate Studies

Konstantin Mekhonoshin has taught business courses at UMUC since 2004—first while he attended George Washington University in the U.S. for a year, and then from his hometown in Irkutsk, Russia  starting in 2005—but his teaching  experience really began nine years earlier.  Back then, before he started helping students learn strategic  management and marketing skills, his lesson plans were a little different.

  In  1995, Konstantin opened his own dance studio in Irkutsk and taught modern dance, including  hip-hop and techno—all while he completed his UMUC Bachelor of Business Administration. Becoming an entrepreneur and learning the real-life lessons of business proved extremely helpful to  him throughout his degree program.

  “I  applied theoretical knowledge to practice through marketing, accounting,  management, and core competencies,” says Konstantin. “The profits I earned by applying all of my entrepreneurial  skills helped a lot.”

  In 2002, Konstantin chose  to concentrate fully on his PhD dissertation. He is deeply dedicated to his  education—something that is abundantly clear when you browse Konstantin’s extended  list of academic degrees, which includes his bachelor's degree from UMUC, a Master of Science in international business, a Master of Art in law, a  graduate degree in corporate governance, and a PhD in management science.

Konstantin hopes that he  can motivate his students to work just as hard and care as much about their  business courses. Because many of his online students are thousands of miles  away, Konstantin strives to make the learning experience unique and personal  for them.

“I  try to make the assignments more interesting,” says Konstantin. “I ask them to  apply their own experience. And I encourage communication among students and  with me, because communication is the key to gaining more knowledge.”

  As  a professor of BMGT 110 Introduction to  Business and Management, BMGT 487 Project Management, BMGT 495 Strategic Management, and other UMUC courses, it’s important that Konstantin  bring a real-world business perspective to his students. To do this  effectively, he carefully plans and leads his courses in the same way that a corporate  project manager guides his team toward a deadline.

  “I  apply project management techniques to the classroom,” says Konstantin. “First,  I make all objectives of the course clear. Then, I make a detailed plan—with  each module they receive a task list, so they know exactly what they must do  each week in order to reach the objectives, and how many points each assignment  is worth.”

In addition to teaching business courses, Konstantin is currently working on  several projects as a consultant to the president of a diversified Russian  corporation. He is working on an assignment in Montreal, Canada, performing maintenance on U.S.-purchased aircrafts and registering them for the operations in  Russia.

As a businessman, advanced degree holder, and professor, Konstantin's life is busy and fulfilling, but he also  fondly remembers his days of teaching students to dance. He continually  draws upon that experience as he teaches at UMUC.

  “When  you teach dancing, you don’t grade students, and they learn because they love  dancing,” he says. “I am trying to apply this to my UMUC classes to make students  love the subject they study, and make their studying more enjoyable.”