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A Warm Welcome from Kelley

Pankaj Jain PHD'02

Assistant Professor of Finance and Director of the International MBA program, University of Memphis

Pankaj Jain

I like having the ability to choose my area of research and potentially become an expert in that area. With this flexibility, work isnít work anymore. Itís fun.Ē

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Kelley’s top-ranked doctoral program and reputation for strong research brought Pankaj Jain to the United States. His warm welcome to IU was a pleasant surprise. He arrived in Bloomington to discover a vibrant, multicultural community that offers unlimited opportunities for collaborating and socializing. In fact, Bloomington’s international feel made it easy for Jain to adapt to his new surroundings. “I was surprised that a small town could offer so much variety,” he says. His painless transition to the United States enabled him to focus on his ultimate objective—a first-rate education.

Jain was particularly inspired by Kelley’s weekly research seminar series, which gave him the opportunity to discuss recent research with accomplished finance researchers from the best universities in the nation. He appreciated Kelley faculty members who encouraged students to ask questions and to contribute to informal discussions. Because the series helped to solidify his understanding of finance theories while he was at Kelley, Jain recently began a monthly research seminar series for finance students at the University of Memphis.

For his current roles as assistant professor and director of the International MBA (IMBA) program at the University of Memphis, Jain adopted several teaching techniques he learned from Kelley professors. The IMBA program he oversees is designed to increase the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy. Students who speak English and at least one other language are eligible for the IMBA program, which partners with other University of Memphis academic departments to broaden students’ foreign language skills. With his example, Jain stresses to students the value of international communication. He is fluent in three languages: English, Hindi, and Marwari.

Jain has been immersed in finance for most of his life. His family owns a brokerage firm in India, and before he settled in the United States, he worked for three years as an investment banker in Bombay. Jain prefers the flexibility of teaching to the long hours required of an investment banker. His faculty position gives him the chance to advance the field of finance for future generations. “I like having the ability to choose my area of research and potentially become an expert in that area,” he says. “With this flexibility, work isn’t work anymore. It’s a lot of fun.”

In Brief

Future plans: “I love teaching and research. Even if I take a corporate job, it is likely to involve training and research.”

Life in the United States: “Most Americans are extremely good-hearted people, much in contrast to the political image of America in foreign countries.”

Advice for Kelley PhD students: “Even though the PhD program lasts four or more years, time flies. To make the most of your experience, see if you can help professors with their research projects. This has allowed many students to publish their work in top-tier journals, and it has a ton of long-term advantages for your career.”

Published April 14, 2011