RISEBA programme director Gabelaia: marketing expert, avid runner and nature lover

RISEBA programme director Gabelaia: marketing expert, avid runner and nature lover

PhD Ioseb Gabelaia has started working at RISEBA. He is the director of the bachelor’s programme Public Relations and Advertising Management in English, which will be available already in 2022/2023 study year. Read our interview with him!

The intentions of the new director

What is your previous experience of academic work abroad and in Latvia?

Overall, I have been working in higher education since 2010. The field of higher education is unique and fascinating. I have been in student enrollment management and marketing for many years. It is an absolute pleasure to be working with students and their families and knowing that everything you say “matters”. We are changing the lives of students. The impact is huge.

Though, I started working on the academic side from 2017. In general, I have taught in Georgia at International Black Seas University, Kazakhstan at Executive Education KIMEP University, the Netherlands Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Belgium at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania at Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Azerbaijan at ADA University, and the US at Graceland University at bachelors and master levels. In Latvia, before I came to RISEBA, I was teaching at Transport and Telecommunications Institute. Additionally delivering a class or two at RISEBA each semester. Whether it is a small course or a full load, I simply enjoy working with students! I see something unique in every student and it gives me that drive to be in front of them. 

What courses do you teach RISEBA students?

This Spring 2022 I will be teaching Marketing Research with Course Paper, Strategic Brand Management and Marketing Management in Sports Industry. However, I plan to be involved more when the English programme in Public Relations and Advertising Management will start. In general, my expertise is Marketing and Communications, however, I deliver courses in Business Management too. I have some favorite subjects. 

You have just become the program Public Relations and Advertising Management director in English. How will it now expand RISEBA University’s offer? What are your intentions as a director?

I must note that it is a huge honor and responsibility to lead Public Relations and Advertising Management English track programme.

My intentions as a director are to make the study program top and competitive in local and international markets. Of course, I won’t share all details here, but to achieve the targeted outcomes, is doable only through a strategically aligned approach through partnerships with secondary schools and partner universities globally. 

Public Relations and Advertising Management specialists should be amongst the first to know of the product innovations, and latest changes in industries while continuously building networks. Simply being up to date with the latest information. It is a fast-paced lifestyle. 

At the moment, which topics in the field of public relations and advertising should be paid special attention to by future specialists in this field, students?

The future specialist should realize that today many marketing disciplines are overlapping each other, which impacts purchasing behaviors. What matters is a big idea in understanding brand challenges and utilizing research-based strategies. In brief, the future specialist should be aware of simplicity. Business becoming more digital and sophisticated, therefore simplicity in moving from “problem space” into “solution space” makes difference. Simplicity is the key to getting the attention of the target audience and penetrating existing and new markets. 

Our new programme director is a true professional with international experience.

Excellent education and many hobbies

How much do you know about Latvia?

To be honest with you, I had some information before I came to Latvia. I love history, so I made sure I read a little bit about the country. I believe when you go to a different country you should explore and learn about a different country, its people and culture. Covid-19 limited my travels throughout the country, however, in the past year I have made some improvements. When it comes to mentality, I feel it’s unique which I am still trying to understand. Only hard thing is cold weather.

What is your homeland? Where did you grow up and where did you study?

Well, I am from a beautiful country Georgia. I was born in Sokhumi but grew up in Batumi. That’s where I spend my childhood and graduated from secondary school. I started my higher education at International Black Sea University in Tbilisi, Georgia. However, 1 year after I was selected as an exchange student through the UGRAD exchange programme – on 2006-2007 – I spent as an exchange student at Graceland University, Iowa, USA. Afterward, I was able to return to Graceland University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations degree – in 2016, with Master of Education in Instructional Leadership. In fall 2020, I obtained a Doctor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing from International Black Sea University. Moreover, today I am doing my second doctoral degree from Drake University, Iowa, USA. For me, learning equals continuous improvements.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Oh well, there are several hobbies indeed. I am an avid runner. Short or long-distance but with obstacles. I have been running the Tough Mudder Obstacle course in the US and Hope to get involved here in Europe in it. Maybe, I should try the Spartan race too. Besides that, I play football. That’s something I have always been doing, and if any chance I am on it. And yes, I love playing against students. Moreover, I love fishing, hunting, or anything related to the outdoors. Lastly, Martial Arts. It is very special for me as it gives me calmness, discipline, and confidence. 

PhD Ioseb Gabelaia finds sporty excitement in the Tough Mudder Obstacle.

Message to students

Why is it worth studying at RISEBA? 

RISEBA is a university with top-notch and most demanded study programmes that are in the employment market today. Businesses need talents with soft and hard skills that they can apply from day one. Moreover, learn and network! RISEBA provides exactly that!

Your wish to the students.

I am always happy when students are working towards their life goals! I want them to know that things will be hard at university, and in life. Sometimes a lot will pile up, altogether, which will make you doubt everything you do. Remember to fight it, to conquer and simply be Awesome! 

Anytime, I am needed, I will be there for you! 

The RISEBA programme director and lecturer has already got to know Latvia and its traditions.

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