Niclas Hellman awarded the SSE Corporate Partners' Pedagogical Award
He has also made important contributions to SSE Executive Education through teaching more than 10,000 managers and financial specialists in open and customized programs. His teaching is characterized by starting from real-world problems relevant to students and practitioners, then taking them on an interactive journey exploring what accounting numbers reveal about the business. For his teaching approach, he consistently receives very high evaluations from students and participants. Furthermore, he has time and again proven that he is a loyal and reliable faculty member, when unexpected changes happen or when new courses need developing. He is also often part of inducting new assistant professors in the teaching profession through team-teaching in new courses. With his broad and deep experience, he has been an important role model and mentor for younger faculty members for many years.
Why do you think you receive such great feedback on your courses, what is the secret ingredient?
I believe both my students and participants in Executive Education programs appreciate learning how to link business reality with accounting numbers. It is crucial to understand the consequences of business activities on income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets. I do my best to make this learning journey intriguing and fun by using real-life examples and anecdotes, sometimes with surprising turns of events. The key ingredient is to always be practically relevant.
You have been with SSE for over 30 years, how has teaching changed over the course of the years and have the students changed as well? If yes, how?
Some things are quite new but some are still the same. The high level of interaction in class remains a key feature of SSE education over time. It is necessary to create a good climate for learning, allowing for sharing different views on topics and providing frequent opportunities to reflect rather than just receiving content. The pandemic caused a big change where we had to learn how to interact online. It actually works really well for more structured parts of programs and many of our Executive Education programs nowadays use a careful mix of online and on-site components. As regards how to use recordings and hybrid solutions (on-site with some online participants), I believe more considerations and improvements are still needed.
What do you like most about your work?
I really like the combination of both doing relevant research in my area of expertise and interacting with students and business practice. I am immensely grateful to SSE for all the support and opportunities I have been given over the years. I was sent to the International Teachers Program (ITP) already in 1992 and learned gradually how to teach both students and executives through team teaching together with my senior colleagues. After learning the trade, I have had the joy of passing on my pedagogical knowledge to younger colleagues and, of course, learning a lot from them.
What is your favourite part of the school and why?
I really like the room “Ruben" at Saltmätargatan. It is designed as an amphitheatre which makes it easy to interact. It is also the home of the three accounting and financial management courses I developed for the BSc Retail Management Program a few years ago. Beyond the physical premises, I truly enjoy being part of fulfilling the vision of “a world class international business school in Sweden".