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.”