Each week we are interviewing one great Professor working in UAE. It is very unique chance to get to share with you the inspiration and some personal insights about Academic Leaders that might become your teachers one day.

Today, our founder Nadya is talking to Khyati Shetty, Head of School Business and Arts at Curtin University Dubai.

NU: What sparked your interest in subject that you specialize in? Why did you decide to study it and then teach it?

KS: Ever since my childhood, I struggled with monotony and routine. And I was very clear that I didn’t want to pick an area of study, that would hold me hostage by unvarying routines. Picking marketing was an answer to my prayers as it sparked my inner artist.

There were always new designs to craft, tools to use, and ideas to come up with. I aloved that there is no set formula for a successful strategy, no two days ever felt the same and I was able to exercise every muscle of my brain to learn how to write, create and build relationships with customers. I now love sharing the knowledge of this art with my students. And as I often tell them, you can’t graduate with a degree and be amazing at marketing. You better love learning. This space changes more frequently than Lady Gaga’s outfits. If you stand still for too long, you will get passed by. You have to be on top of your game, to keep learning and growing. It’s an immersive experience that never leaves you.

NU: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

KS: I left a glamorous high paying corporate career 10 years ago to pursue my passion for teaching, which had much longer hours of work and much-diminished pay check, but I haven’t regretted it once. It actually keeps me motivated and forever digging deeper to make an impact. The job is demanding at times, the pace frenetic, but the best bit is every day brings at least one moment to cherish. And that’s not something I could say about any job I’ve had before. I wake up genuinely excited to get to work every day because there are new beginnings and never-ending learning and the knowledge that I’m playing a little part in shaping a (hopefully) better future is immensely gratifying.

NU: What’s your favorite book?

KS: My list of favorite books changes daily, if not hourly, but there are a few that I turn to over and over again. And a significant one for me was “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle. This is one book that has taught me to live in the moment, but not in a shallow way, keep “out of my own head” and not worry too much about future events, or rehearse past events. This is the book I’ve given over and over to friends. Every single one of them cherishes it as much as I do.

NU: Tell us about your current research focus?

KS: While I have done extensive work in the areas of Brand personality congruence, I am also extremely fascinated in the areas of Emirati women entrepreneurship and intrigued by their potential to get there. My most recent studies have looked into the subjective well- being of these women, entrepreneurial intentions and work-family conflict.

NU: Can you remember a University lecturer who really inspired you?

KS: Honestly, I couldn’t pick out a single teacher, as I had many who inspired me. The difference between the teachers I loved and those I didn’t, were the ones who moved education from just regurgitating answers to making it engaging and the ones who did not just challenge me to solve a problem but pose it too.

I owe a lot of who I am today — and even the way I teach to these amazing teachers who inspired me.

NU: Within your area of study, what breakthroughs are on the horizon?

KS: Just when marketers believe they understand their audience, a new technology, new trend, new behavior or even an entirely new audience alters everything. However, AI-powered technology will be significant in producing custom, conversational content. There may have been a time when you could’ve dismissed artificial intelligence or visual search as gimmicks from the latest blockbuster science fiction film, but that time is long gone. AI is certainly growing in notoriety in the marketing landscape. It will shift brands away from marketing automation toward personalized experiences (finally!). AI will serve as the catalyst to shift from automation to personalization and eventually anticipation and prediction. 

NU: If you could give your 18-year-old self-one piece of advice, what would it be?

KS: Follow your passion, and reach beyond your comfort zone. Eventually never happens. You don’t need to wait until you’re better at it, or until you’re more qualified, or until the “timing is right.” Pursue the life you want instead of the life you are told; you might ruffle a few feathers. So what? If it is what you want, then it is worth it all.

It was absolute pleasure to talk to Professor Shetty, she is a great example of women leader who follows her dreams.

If you want to become student in Business and Arts and learn from Professor Shetty – do check study programs in Curtin University Dubai. You can also attend Open Day to see the campus yourself. Check our events calendar for exact dates.

Stay tuned for another interesting interview next week.

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