Tuesday, February 24, 2004

This gives new meaning to the term on-the-job training


An Oxford engineering student bluffed his way through a series of global economics lectures in Beijing after being mistaken for a New York University professor with the same name.

The 23-year-old student used a basic textbook as lecture notes to deliver two days of lectures. (He was supposed to lecture for three days but "legged it" after running out of textbook chapters.) He says, "I ad libbed a bit and really got into the subject. I was learning as much as my audience."

The NYU professor took this all in stride, saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and that there was no harm done.

I'd be interested in hearing some discussion on this article.

Have you ever bluffed your way through delivering a training session when you didn't feel you had adequate knowledge on the subject? Were you successful, or were you found out?

What would you have done in this student's situation? Would you have explained up front that you didn't know anything about the topic? Would you have said yes and then not shown up? Would you have done what he did and try to bluff your way through it?


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